Synopsis – A HALLOWEEN-style slasher for the digital age, it follows a beautiful young college student who, needing money for tuition, moves into a house that streams content to an X-rated website. After a deranged fan hacks in to determine the house’s location, she finds herself in a terrifying fight for her life.
My Take – Its been a while since I have seen a good slasher flick, granted I am not a big fan of the horror genre nor do I appreciate the excess gore which film now days pertain to in order to win over their sadist audience. But growing up during the 90s it was hard to ignore & not enjoy flicks such I Know What You Did Last Summer (not the sequels), Urban Legend & the Scream series. It was not the presence of gorgeous girls being killed off which intrigued me (OK I am kinda lying there), but the intensity & the innovative turns the film would take – both horrifying & hilarious at the same time. Among recent years, only You’re Next & the remake of The Town That Dreaded Sundown would qualify as something interesting. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much going into this film too. I was expecting your average, run-of-the-mill slasher film that didn’t offer anything more than I’ve seen a hundred and one times before. I didn’t have high hopes given the premise and thought it would be a cheap excuse to show more porn than actual stuff. But boy was I wrong: as a fan of slashers, I can say this is quality stuff!
The story follows Kylie (Ali Cobrin), an attractive university (or college)student in N. Carolina, saddened by the death of her father & in order to keep churning out her tuition fees, decides to move into a house that streams live video for a voyeur website called Girlhouse. The house is home to other women who go about their day, but also partake in chat sessions and do some occasional stripteasing for viewers. One such viewer, a user known only as “Loverboy” (Slaine), takes a particularly strong interest in the girls. However, once he finds out that the girls have taken to ridiculing him off-camera, Loverboy decides to exact a deadly revenge. He uses his IT knowledge and his strength to trap and kill his “tormenters.” Given the amount of horrid slasher movies in the past years, there are some good things to be said about this film where it rises in some points but falls short in others when it comes to the clichés of horror flicks. It definitely is an original, fresh take on a slasher movie with an abundance of fun, sex, chase scenes and gore. The first half of the movie was quite enjoyable as it focuses on developing a little bit of characterization (a rare thing in such kind of films) which paid off for the second half where the massacre begins. You will definitely find yourself rooting for some of the characters to survive or die but what makes this movie interesting is how it makes sense in terms of probability and the subject itself. The great opening sequence set the movie up nicely. I don’t recall there ever being a dull moment throughout the film! Of course there was a lot of nudity and that alone made moments – well no comments on that! The best parts of the movie definitely lied in the massacre which was a whole heap of fun and it was exactly what it meant to be; a collection of girls being picked off one by one with entertaining sequences and deaths. There is one particular scene which creep ed me out involving a member seeing “Loverboy” hover around one of the girls during a private show to her oblivious to what is happening, because there is no other way to describe it. Creepy as hell, but definitely entertaining. The ending was sadly predictable but a huge high five for not ending the movie with a cringe-worthy twist. For a low budget movie, the acting was believable along with the dialogue so kudos to the cast for making an interesting slasher movie not cringe-worthy. As a rule, slasher films hinge largely on the main antagonist being memorable and creative visually and in character. That’s not a problem with Slaine, who does a pretty damn fine job as the socially-awkward yet clearly disturbed Loverboy. Slaine hits the right notes when it comes to expressions and emotions, while evoking a bit of sympathy for the sob. That is, until he puts on the mask, turning into something that looks like Michael Myers stole the Leatherface mask. After that, the brutality that was under Loverboy’s awkwardness comes out to play.
The fact that this guy can move makes him all the more scarier. As for the rest of the main cast, Ali Cobrin turns in a great performance as the film’s main protagonist. As hinted at previously, Cobrin is very likable and believable in her role, and the chemistry with her and Adam DiMarco as Ben adds a lot. The troupe of women in the house, such as Zuleyka Silver as former heroin addict Anna, and Alyson Bath as the irritable Devon, all put their mark on their characters, despite again being your stereotypical slasher figures. What could have easily been one of those “fire-and-forget” slashers stories, the film surprisingly has far more than what the premise initially details. Kudos to writer Nick Gordon & directors Trevor Matthews & & Jon Knautz for giving us characters that while they do fall into the typical slasher cliches, aren’t characters you won’t give a damn about. On the whole, ‘Girl House’ is definitely one of the stronger slasher films I’ve recently seen. The fact that it’s also well-done indie film makes it more impressive. While it does tread the familiar for many fans, it’s still worthwhile to check it out. It’s slightly campy, a good bit suspenseful, and much more fun than many recent slasher entries. Give it a shot!
Director – Trevor Matthews, Jon Knautz
Rated – R
Run Time – 99 minutes