Movie Review - The House With 100 Eyes
I was recently approached by an exciting production company out of Philadelphia called Artsplotation Films about reviewing Jay Lee and Jim Roof's The House With 100 Eyes, set for DVD release on June 16th. Even though I had absolutely no idea what to expect, I jumped at the opportunity, and I was completely blown away. Described as American Psycho meets This is Spinal Tap, the film is a gritty mockumentary that has just the right mix of hardcore violence and dark comedy, which is no easy feat to accomplish. This is not just a horror film but a satire of the American culture wrapped up in a nasty little package. The film has apparently had some trouble finding a home on VOD because of the movie's extreme content, so you'll have to find it on DVD. Available June 16th at Artsploitation.com, The House With 100 Eyes is highly recommended.
Ed and Susan may seem like your average suburban couple, but the picture perfect facade is merely a cover for their dirty little secret: both are violent sociopaths who make and distribute home-made snuff films. Ed gets off on torturing his victims, while Susan loves to poison hers. The pair make the perfect compliment for one another, it's actually kind of adorable. Soon they embark on their most ambitious artistic venture to date, killing three people in one film. Initially they have some trouble finding willing participants, and they quickly turn their focus to the seedier areas of Los Angeles. They meet a young couple with a female friend near skid row and persuade them to come along and earn some money. But when things don't go exactly as planned both Ed and Susan begin to unravel with the very fabric of their relationship. Will they be able to complete their masterpiece, or have they bitten off more than they can chew?
The acting in the film is utterly amazing. The performances of the two leading actors were sublime. Writer-director Jim Roof is simultaneously terrifying, hilariously self deprecating, and highly charismatic. While Shannon Malone gives a chilling 'Lady MacBeth' like performance as Susan, who is every bit as demented and evil as her husband. The onscreen chemistry between the two is dynamic and undeniable. We truly feel the love between this couple, despite their apparent mental instability. And Larissa Lynch, Liz Burghdorf and Andrew Hopper are extremely convincing as the young drifters drawn into the madness.
I have to compliment both Jay Lee and Jim Roof for producing an almost Christopher Guest style found footage torture film that is effective on many levels. I also want to applaud the use of the medium, as the film actually looks home made and is a fine example of how found footage can be used to enhance a film as opposed to defining it. I also need to mention the makeup and special effects artists who were able to create incredibly realistic gore that at times made my stomach turn. All in all, this is a film all fans of extreme horror and dark comedy will thoroughly enjoy. Pick up a copy of the DVD June 16th. Enjoy.
- Leo Francis