The Perfect House (2012)
Out now on iTunes
Available on Region 1 DVD from 22nd July 2014
A young couple take a tour of a house that is for sale at a drastically low price but the house holds a violent history that just might put them off.
The anthology genre has had something of a revival in recent years with Trick ‘R Treat and most prominently V/H/S and V/H/S 2 giving young horror directors a platform to let loose. The genre comes with its own pros and cons. The good thing about it is that you get a lot for your money, with several stories being packed into one movie and if you don’t particularly like one section then another will be along soon. The V/H/S films also have quite a range of different stories and also different styles owing to the range of directors so you get a lot of different and hopefully original content in one sitting. Each vignette in the film should also act as a short contained story. This however, can also be a con. As there is only a short amount of time for you to tell your story some aspects, such as characterisation, can often suffer. Also, anthology movies tend to have to have a wraparound story that acts to keep the whole thing together while also being an interesting story on their own and these can often suffer from being just a device rather than a good story in their own right. Unfortunately, The Perfect House lands largely in the con pile of horror anthologies.
The film is comprised of three short sections, one of which oddly starts the movie but does not have its end until the third section of the film, and a general wrap around story attempting to keep it all together. That main wrap around story certainly doesn’t work in its own right. This is the young couple looking round the eponymous house which is for sale at a budget price. The estate agent seems to randomly be highly sexed and flirtatious and makes hugely inappropriate advances on the couple. There seems to be a comedy aspect trying to rear its head in this but it isn’t funny and is just slightly awkward, like a bad sex comedy. Strangely, the husband in the couple obviously lusts after the estate agent even telling his wife that he would follow her ass anywhere in a weird turn of character that isn’t believable. This story vaguely tries to imbue the house with some sort of evil power, as the husband starts to get nose bleeds as they investigate the basement, the scene of a lot of murder, and the couple radically go against the house, but it never really pulls this idea off. Instead it just seems coincidental that a lot of people got murdered in the house.
The first short story in the film is probably the best. A family in the 1950’s shelter in the basement from a terrible storm and they each end up getting killed as the lights go out. This has a couple of slightly interesting aspects running through it, like mental illness, that are almost red herrings, but it makes for a fairly enjoyable watch. The other two sections are disappointingly just torture porn variations. The first is about a serial killer, Jonathan Tiersten seemingly quite enjoying himself, who keeps a young woman captive as his audience while he brings home a different person each week to horrifically kill. It has a slight black humour tinge to it but is mostly uncomfortable and fairly dull. The final section is about a man torturing and killing a family, who visit him for dinner at the very start of the film, because he doesn’t approve of their lifestyle. This again adds nothing and is just an excuse to kill and torture a random group of people. Neither of these stories particularly set up much character or anyone to particularly care about so in the end it’s all just noise.
The Perfect House is a disappointment. I do like an anthology movie but this one is just dull and fairly repetitive. There’s nothing perfect about it.