It needs to be stated that this isn’t a zombie movie, nor is it a directly a nazipolittion movie but rather a supernatural meets time-loop horror movie, is the best way to describe the debut feature from director Steven Spiel. It made an impressive shocking impact on viewers, especially in Australia. However, Living Space isn’t just a set of curious words, rather comes from the translation of Lebensraum a term used by the real Nazi party for the meaning of extreme territorial expansion of purity; and this movie uses some truly historic sounds and images of this evil still frightening to this day. As stated, the opening contains a nightmarish sequence, perhaps offensive to certain portions of the audience, which shows actual WWII propaganda footage of Nazi rallies, that is very chilling to see those images. This film also uses the time-looping concept or trapped in a time loop, which mostly recently occurred in highly successful Happy Death Day ; and prior to that in both Blood Punch  and Triangle , and yet it is still unconventionally, extremely difficult for a new director to successfully accomplish.
From the beginning, the footage of Nazi Germany newsreels will horrify the audience, similar to Death Ship  while the name of this film is a play on words as living space not only refers to the haunted house but also refers to the Nazi doctrine of ‘Lebenstraum’ which was just one of their justifying reasons to invade many other European countries in WWII. Then the film transitions to an American couple Brad (Leigh Scully) and Ashley (Georgia Chara) who are preparing to continue their travel through Germany, a hotel staffer helps them with their baggage as Ashley looks at a brochure, which actually shows Neuschwanstein Castle. As they start their journey one is aware there’s turmoil between them, something revealed later, also those truly keen on observation will notice the infinity necklace that Ashley wears. Suddenly, their car breaks down, cue the horror cliches, and with no communications available to them, they venture down the road in search of help and stumbled upon a secretive house. Along the route Brad refers to Ashley as a whore, regarding at a party, which appears triggers a never-ending nightmare of pain and agony, namely by an SS Officer rising as a ghost, but not in the transparent ghostly apparition form, he’s back to exact revenge. Meanwhile, Ashley feels this is all a form of deja-vu, but dismisses both of them, but we clearly see and understand the time loop of Groundhog Day. Without revealing too much, one receives likely the most disgusting act of brutality, in the film all released in one important scene, Ashley finds Brad’s body, as he has become a human infamous twisted cross, and can utter “It hurts” each of his limbs broken, twisted, dislocated, to form the Nazi flag symbol of hatred. However, this symbol reappears often sometimes as carvings into human flesh, inflicting as much physical and psychological pain as possible, the characters, of past and present and to the audience themselves. Its very important to commit oneself to watching this movie to the end, for the revelation of clues, some that were, and others sadly omitted, from the viewers which could have led to more complex mystery. Then on the wall is the words ‘Living Space’ written in blood; which again was original title, used on some of the releases, while others contain the title Nazi Undead, the second title loses all meaning in the film.
Some elements that need praise namely the set design, aiming for an authentic home of an SS Officer, was very good, in a very displeasing manner. In addition, the special effects for the most part were on par, with wonderful little touches to give the gorehounds cheer, however the film contains a lot of clichés found in many modern haunted house tropes, complete with jump scares and ominous sounds. However, the accents of everyone seems to faulter slightly but really not enough to sway overall interest for the viewers.
Overall, I like what the filmmaker tried to accomplish, face it, it doesn’t have the big budget, there’s a minor element of exploring abuse to women of all ages, but it needs a deeper diving, hence more discovery via psychological thrills, rather just physical. If unsure of exactly how, look at The Silence of the Lambs  there’s the sheer brutality of killing but also the subtext of weaving misdirection and a mind-game with and to the audience. The horror presented herein should ascend rather merely repeat, by adding and layer the atrocities would help to sickening the depravity shown on the screen rather in one major scene, and actually showing the suffering could of achieve something similar to Terrifier .
- His house, your nightmare!
- The key to survival is to face the undead evil.
IMDb Rating: 3.3
Baron’s RATING: 3.5/10