Felissa Rose and Jonathan Tiersten reunited from Sleepaway Camp (1983) to star in this anthology film, The Perfect House, from directors Kris Hulbert and Randy Kent (The Haunting of Borley Rectory ), while narrated by the exquisitely talented Monique Parent (The Last House ), under the distribution of Wild Eye Releasing. This anthology film, as common with most horror films format, a narrative and a character or two book-ends the stories and link them together with brief intermission, and herein the setup follows the same custom. A newlywed couple, Mike and Marisol, played respectively by William A. Robertson and Andrea Vahl take a tour of a potential dream home, with Monique serving as luscious real estate Agent, and acts if a black widow, weaving a web of intrigue and lust to capture the couple’s interests.
This is a three part tale, surrounding the perfect house, excellent curb appeal, lush green grass, solid foundation, but yet a sordid past, asking a question, that a house may be born evil, such the case with The Haunting (1963), and The Poltergeist (1982), but can a good house inherit the sins of the owners and turn evil. That is the premise that directors Hulbert and Kent put before the audience. As the couple tours the homestead, they relate strange feelings, chills, but brush it off those older homes of character and charm that enhances a house into a home. The first tale recounts a night in the cellar, with ranging tornado like storm raging outside, the banging against the house and whipping wind sound effects, if the intent was to create a claustrophobic situation that causes traumatic remembrance however that falls a bit flat. Now, without revealing too many spoilers, the story involves typical horrendous family topics, appearing in black and white, though many surmise that it reflects the “A long time ago” though it might go deeper, into the previse notion of the Ozzie & Harriet and Leave It to Beaver perfect family dynamics. The social appearance of these black and white television shows, extend to another level, father works, and mother stays home, ready at the beck and call, like a trained dog to the whims of the children and the master – Dad. The concept that each household was in fact this perfect situation, in a perfect house, that no demons existed in, no beatings, no rapes, no incestuous activities, nothing further from the truth. Hence this tale reveals incest and child abuse, though sadly it plods, and builds too quickly to dark violence, one hope for a reenactment of an episode driving a nail into the wall of the home.
The next break has the parent showing the bedroom in sultry stylish manner, lying on a bed, blouse partially unbuttoned giving an inviting appearance to the couple, though this segment break has nothing to do with the next story, which takes place once again in the basement as to the likelihood of the actual bed chamber. A straight to the point, a torture porn storyline with a twisted turn of the tables, includes a very cunning flirtatious finish that gives gore-hounds and horror lovers a satisfying smile. Holly Greene stars with Tierstan (John Doesy), in very dark piece of cinema, with some the most clever and deviously black humor lines in this sub-genre. This tale has some nice visuals mixed with acting which feeds off Tierstan’s screen capturing presence. In addition, the rational explanation of why one should ignore the screaming for help mistake in horror films, one simple statement “think someone that would do something like this is going to leave us in a place our screams can be heard.” A perfect remark and explains how the torture porn motivate the sociopath killers, their added sadistic moment without exerting any energy, and yet enjoy corrupting their moral motives. The third story known as “The Dinner Guest” features carried over from the film Parents (1989) featuring a twist on eating in, versus takeout and opens the floodgate of visual delightful carnage, chaos and corruption of children.
The sad effect of anthology films, one must tell a story in roughly 20-minutes and keep the tension and fear equally leveled while entertaining the audience with dazzling delights of horror, not in impossible, but a difficult task. Though these films seem as the latest ripple in blood-splashes in the genre, but may of sadder consequences that the found footage films, and that acting, directing and editing might have tragic and dire after thoughts on lack of storytelling. The narrative sequences need hooks gaining the attention of the audience and thereby reeling them in with suspense and launching shocks and surprises like Hitchcock did with his television show.
The history of horror, shows, much promise in various sub-genre and anthology movies is no different, however the stories must entice interest or provoke the viewer, and as for houses with a past a fine classic, The House That Dripped Blood (1971) immediately jumps to the front one’s mind. Nevertheless, The Perfect House, searches for the one to make it a Perfect Home, filled the passion and loves to make all the proper homely and who knows just maybe this place hold secrets such as fixing any imperfections that crosses grounds. This film brings wonderful charms, fine for viewers looking for gruesome delights on a Saturday night.
This review was originally published in May 2015 on the now non-existent Rogue Cinema website and accumulated a view count of 2,038.
- Every house has a past
IMDb Rating: 4.2/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10