What I'm Watching: House Hunting
Hmm, I should probably ditch Santa and his hatchet from the side, huh? Bah, it's in the middle of a blizzard right now, so I feel entirely justified leaving Santa there in the middle of March!
Anyways, in the frequent category of "Movies I ran into randomly and sounded interesting enough to check out" we have House Hunting.
This is a unique take on...it's not quite a haunted house movie, but definitely falls into the 'this is a weird house!' sort of movie.
A pair of families both get invited to an open house to check out some property, and since the price is such a steal, they both eagerly come. But once they get there, they run into a strange, mute girl, and discover that try as hard as they can, they can't leave!
This is an interesting inversion on the haunted house you can't leave. We've all seen the gimmick where they walk through a door, or go through a window, and come right back through the front door, or whatever, like they are staying at the Hotel Escher. But in House Hunting, the house remains relatively normal, and it is the property itself you can't leave. Drive off, and you drive right back to the front door! Try walking away, crest that hill in the distance...and you see the house back in front of you! I like this as a twist on a familiar formula.
As the two families try and escape, and try and figure out what's going on, secrets come out, and dead bodies pile up. The answers to what's going on are not completely satisfying, but they do an okay job. They try and tie these two families together with events in the house's history, but when more families arrive at the very end, and you realise there were families before the movie started, you have to wonder just how many people screwed over the previous true residents of this house, and just WHY they've infested this locale with such weirdness.
Well, you get the why, they explain enough reasons *why* they're pissed off spirits, but you don't get the *how* of it all. Like I said, not entirely satisfying.
But the acting is solid from most of the cast, and you are intrigued to see who will survive, who is most fucked up, and they are capably lead by veteran genre actor, Marc Singer. Who does a great job as one of the family patriarchs, who gets really REALLY dark by the end of the movie. A great turn, for the former Beastmaster.
So, while there's a few flaws, it is at least a unique take on a familiar formula, with a solid cast. If you want something off the beaten path that is very good for what it ends up being, this is a good way to kill 90 minutes.
But I am left wondering...if the girl was mute, why didn't she just pick up pencil and paper? Sure, she can't speak out all the answers she could give, but there are other ways to communicate...