Actor Trevor Matthews noted for his roles in Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007) and The Shrine (2010), steps up to the director’s chair for the first time, co-directed with Jon Knautz and embarks with an independent horror feature from first time writer Nick Gordon, and delivers a fresh take on the slasher genre with cunning and dark humor to please all horror fans. The entire film does its best to resuscitate the subgenre with both easy to understand technology, and primal human nature, while starving off the aspects of relying on iconic traits, such as a certain mask, or theme music, or even a type of weapon that familiarizes the viewer to lull them into watching a remake and/or sequel.
The energetic feel to the film starts early and stays throughout the production, with a serious tone, that does not shy away from the sexuality and actually shows it more as a positive than a negative, except in one moment. That moment contains the bullying of a shy and oversized boy, who experiences sexual depraved humiliation, and causes lasting confusion, frustration and boiling rage, but realizes how to exact revenge on his tormentors with satisfying results. The plot surrounds a college student, who turns to an unorthodox manner to pay for rising college costs, Kylie (Ali Corbin), does erotic performances on a website, her innocent looks achieve her rave reviews and promotion. The promotion comes from Gary Preston (James Thomas), an owner of an adult website Girlhouse.com, featuring a house featuring 24/7 camera setup allowing for sexual activities to paying customers, who can arrange one-on-one live intimate sessions with patrons. Gary strives for a tech filled house, complete with security and car service, webcams, smart phones, and remote office nearby to control the access and content payments. A quick tour of the house, gives a creative manner for the layout of the grounds and the introduction to other women in the house, Heather (Elysia Rotaru), Mia (Nicole Fox), Janet (Chasty Ballesteros), Kat (Alice Hunter) and Devon (Alyson Bath). Needless to say not everything stays ok, for if it did then no horror movie would exist, and that comes from a very intimidating large aggressive man, nicknamed by the women in the house, as Loverboy, (Slain, who reminds one of actor Pruitt Taylor Vince) seeks revenge on the suggestions impure manhood, and piggish description. Girl House takes the initial steps that Halloween: Resurrection (2002) provided and advanced them tenfold, with a serious nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) concerning modern voyeurism. Herein the slasher audience comes to life, and excels through the slow burn, but heavily necessary, witness a killer’s mental breakdown, and bringing real life killing before the cameras, and with nasty exacting brutality. The years of torment, disgust, insensitive jokes all at his expense, now come full circle as everyone has a breaking point, and this social outcast casting his own pound of flesh for perfect women with great amounts of gore, with vicious and delicious styles.
Gordon provides a film with easy to translate technology of horror, in a cleaner format, as opposed to Feardotcom (2002) and Ghost in the Machine (1993), and even the cyber induce The Lawnmower Man (1992), brings forth Loverboy’s hacking skills, relying on his computer technology job. He discovers the location of the home, begins to lockout changes, and using his smartphone to control cameras, making a viewer squirm, as they wonder just how dumb a smart house might be, and the smart success of a keys and locks. Matthews’s slickness in production comes from using the webcams and house cameras to security the stalking of the killer, building tension, especially since the audience has the layout of the home already, and it provides a claustrophobia arena for control rampage. In addition, this film brings a bit of controversy with it, about the sexploitation of women, for the benefit of pornographic driven addicts, and none of it can be further from the point. The women in the film, are from showing the extreme x-rated behaviors, in fact some state the clients many times seek someone to talk to, while yes a sexual element exists, the act of interacting with someone live, overrules the cheapness of free porn. Gordon and Matthews never use the nudity as a gratuitous form of exploitation rather as an appropriate level to entice the website and storyline, and another respectful nod to the 80s’ massacres carnage films. Ali Corbin, stars as a smart and cunning actress in her role, as she shows a vulnerable side and yet uses strengths when needing, but never going beyond her physical frame against a menacing homicidal maniac.
This movie, cannot be recommended enough, for the slasher subgenre fans and horror lovers in general as the thrilling tension filling moments creep into the film, the cast delivers a believable scenario and with even pacing and flow to allow the audience to thoroughly enjoy an original film, layered with justified nudity and risqué moments of pleasure for repeated viewing.
This review was originally published in June 2015 on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website with a view count of 1,755.
- Enjoy the show.
- Kill what you can’t have.
- You never know who’s watching
IMDb Rating: 5.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10