Back in my childhood, I remember those ancient relics called video stores. Some of you youngens may not remember them, but I’m sure there’s always some recollection somewhere. And I mean video stores, not the Blockbuster or Hollywood video chains. Back when I was a kid, my aunt worked in a video store, a small mom and pop one called “JR Video,” no relation.
During the day when my parents were busy, my brother and I would hang out there until closing time. We’d get behind the counters, go into the back shelves, and we were around wall to wall movies for hours. Hell, every now and then there’d be a movie up on the television that we were interested in. This is where I gained much of my love for film.
Back in the day, or the days I remember at least, horror movies weren’t better, they were just much more creative. There’d always be a rip-off of “Dawn of the Dead” that turned the formula a bit, or there’d be some cheesy splatter film, but hell, they were fun to watch, and it was even fun to look at the video boxes.
“Kill House” reminds me of that time when horror movies were built on an angle. That’s something you don’t get often these days. With gore galore, and the torture sub-genre, there’s not much room for creativity. But on occasion, we get films like “Drive-Thru,” and “Feast,” and of course, “Kill House.”
Hell, it’s not a good film at all, but for its original angle, you have to give it credit for trying. “Kill House” is yet another direct to DVD title that’s filmed on the ever famous Digital Video, and is lacking in any real special features on the DVD. As señor Gore constantly remarks: Trailers are not special features.
Attempting to spawn off of “Bay of Blood,” Beth Dewey’s horror comedy really doesn’t waste time. It opens up with two ho-hum murders of a squatter and a realtor trying to boost her from a house, and immediately we dive into the whodunit murder mystery involving the cut throat real estate market.
“Kill House” sets down on a group of realtors struggling to earn their commission for their growing realty company, while a snobby and obnoxious rich family decides to relocate to their dream house. The red herrings are set up just as we’d suspect. There’s an ex-con who wants to live his life calmly, and a few realtors who will do anything to beat out the competition, and yet we’re never prepared for the tedium that follows.
It attempts to be a satire on capitalism, and yet it often feels like a sitcom. There are two brats dealing with a put upon realtor trying to sell their house, and there is that particular killer running around, hacking people up to death. Dewey’s direction is often very sloppy and hasty, with often flat attempts at jump scares, and suspense, and a particularly funny scene involving a small dog and a garbage disposal that’s more comical than cruel, considering the dog looks at the camera the entire time.
Dewey continues the folly for a good while, and then suddenly strips away the whodunit formula, reverting into full-on slasher mode chronicling this real estate agent (played by Dewey) offing anyone and everyone at every turn without a hitch, and the hits just keep on coming. Comedy just falls completely flat, and atrocious performances are given by all, without any pay off or alleged social commentary in the mix.
“Kill House” gets credit for being different, but fails for being just another sloppy horror comedy with no horror or comedy present.