Open House (2010) by Pazuzu

Directed by:
Written by:
Starring: , ,


This new “home invasion” thriller come horror is directed by the gorgeous Anna Paquin’s older brother, and he very kindly gives her the tiniest cameo in the film. It shows the desperation here because Anna features heavily on the sleeve, only to be in the film for a blink and you’ll miss it scene.  The plot is wafer thin, but here we go: Alice (Rachel Blanchard) is in the process of divorce and to keep things simple, the couple decide to sell their huge house. There is a problem however, and it would seem a slightly mad couple, David (Brian Geraghty) and Lila (Tricia Helfer) have other plans for the house. They seem to think they can simply movie in without being asked and enjoy the pleasures of someone else’s house, without being noticed!

David sneaks into the house on one of the days the estate agent is showing people round the house. He hides down in the washing machine area. That night, Alice has some friends over, and when they leave David springs into action and captures her. Clearly he is meant to kill her, but for some unknown reason he ties her up in a cupboard downstairs where no one will see her, especially his on/off partner Lila. I say on/off as the two are very strange together, they act like they’ve been forced to be together and they do the most bizarre things. In one scene, they share a dance in the living room, only for David to then throw up. They seem to have a love/hate relationship and its clear David does not trust her. Anyway, somehow, they move in and act like they’ve been living there for years. They know where everything is and blag lies to anyone coming to the house. Its daft to think they could get away with this so easily and it makes the whole set up seem just too unreal and silly.

To keep the viewer interested, sex and violence is added every now and then, but to get to it you have to sit through some awful scripting and to be honest, I truly believe watching paint dry would be more exciting. I don’t know if the director was trying to be all arty in the dialogue but it does not work. There is little tension and you don’t really care for anyone. The only person I was even slightly intrigued about was David. He’s actually quite a good character, quiet and contained with some deep seated trauma just waiting to come to the surface. You never quite know what he’s planning next, and often he just bursts into violence. His girlfriend, on the other hand, is mental and has no problem showing it. She invites a Alice’s ex to join her in the pool (he’s come over for his things you see), she seduces him (a nice scene by the way!) and then sticks a knife in his shoulder, all the while David films. This happens now and again, but Lila never really convinces as a psychotic, it all seems too forced.

Poor old Alice is kept in the basement, and allowed out when Lila is not around, so it’s clear David has some feelings. There are a few more set pieces that rise above the boredom levels like a few more killings, a lesbian scene and the want for the damn film to finish. It’s a film with plenty of ideas, but it’s trying to be something it’s not, a good film. It’ll bore you senseless, and each killing or sex scene is then met with the next long period of so-called arty talking, build up and character development that just doesn’t work, and seriously does not get you wanting more. A dire film but one that’s good for helping insomnia.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

[pt-filmtitle]Open House[/pt-filmtitle]

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About Matt Wavish 598 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

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