Open House 1-4 Image

Open House 1-4

By Brian Shaer | April 9, 2020

Writer-director Brad Holloway clearly wants to underscore the glaring classism and ethnic stereotyping that no doubt exists in these types of ultra-exclusive neighborhoods. However, in painting his story on such a broad and obvious canvas, the desired points are essentially made before any interaction between the characters takes place.

Open House 1-4 tries very hard to be zany, and while there is undoubtedly an element of humor in satire, the storytelling technique doesn’t necessarily require all-out lunacy. In fact, satire tends to be more successful in driving home its themes when the jabs are subtle, such as in Dr. Strangelove or Heathers.

“The satirical elementscome across as forced.”

The satirical elements in Open House 1-4 come across as forced. For example, as game an actress as Christiansen is, her characterization is so intentionally over-the-top that it veers on campy. Subtlety is not an attribute that this movie seeks to embrace.

Still, Open House 1-4 does have some amusing moments; name-dropping the super-rich towns and high-end appliances are good for a few chuckles. The cinematography by Jeremy James is smooth, and the production design emphasizes the polish and shine of the upper-class surroundings.

Open House 1-4 is a quick, funny short film, but it’s the kind of film that could just as easily have been a silent movie, and the message would have remained intact. In fact, silence might have given the film some welcome shade.

Open House 1-4 (2020)

Directed and Written: Brad Holloway

Starring: Tanya Christiansen, Chellie Garcia, Mauricio Bermudez, J.J. Crowne, Donna Rae Allen, Jamie Molina, Brian Ballance, L.J. Ugarte, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Open House 1-4 Image

"…efficiently makes its point in less than 10 minutes."

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