Sunday, November 09, 2014

Horror Thoughts ‘14—Dark House (2014) ***

R, 102 min.
Director: Victor Salva
Writers: Charles Agron, Victor Salva
Starring: Luke Kleintank, Alex McKenna, Anthony Rey Perez, Zack Ward, Lacey Anzelc, Ethan S. Smith, Lesley-Anne Down, Tobin Bell

Well, we get an unplanned Horrorfest entry with “Dark House”, which is a good thing since I like it better than any of the final three films I watched as official festival entries.

“Dark House” is a unique horror flick. It has some of the signature standbys of the genre, like and isolated location and a select number of cast members to be taken out one by one in bloody fashion. However, its story is a little more unique than the cookie cutter elements that generally inhabit most horror flicks these days.

One of the film’s producers and stars is actor Tobin Bell, who is famous for the “Saw” horror franchise as the voice and persona behind Jigsaw. Bell certainly knows how he is perceived by the horror going public, and he uses that image effectively to keep the audience guessing as to the nature of just what is going on in this movie.

The plot involves a man who can see how people will die when he touches them. After his mother dies mysteriously he stumbles upon the opportunity to learn more about his father and his gift in a house is left to him in his mother’s will. He travels with his pregnant wife and best friend to see the house, which has what would seem an impossible nature about it. From that point on, things get weird.

Victor Salva’s direction goes in the shock and awe direction that dominates horror filmmaking these days, but he also has a knack for unique images. Even while he’s hitting the audience over the head with the obviousness of the evil involved with this house, he doesn’t tip his hat about certain mysterious details of the plot. Much is not what it seems and Salva reveals these secrets in their time, never pushing reveals before they’re necessary. 

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