In The House Of Flies (2012) (DVD film review).

January 31, 2015 | By | Reply More

If you’ve seen ‘Saw’ and its derivatives, you may be going to familiar territory when watching ‘In The House Of Flies’ and, frankly, the action does seesaw a little in its up-and-down moments of tension. It begins with a young couple, romantically entwined and carefree in the pinnacle of their youth in 1988. Yes, it’s supposed to be a retro movie! Why, I don’t know but maybe you could get the feeling that the couple will continue until 2015, locked in a basement.

InTheHouseOfFliesDVD

That’s the plot and by the time you watch it you will probably think that a long time has passed. The young lovers, Steve (Ryan Kotack) and Heather (Lindsay Smith) get abducted and chucked in a basement, a disgustingly filthy basement at that which is full of insects and crawling things. The basement also contains several cases and, oddly enough, a telephone. (Had it been 2015 it would have been a mobile phone no doubt.) That’s where most of the action takes place, making this one of the most claustrophobic movies for a long time. If you don’t like horrible closed in spaces then don’t watch this. If that wasn’t bad enough, they are tormented by a mad psychopath who contacts them via the telephone with a lot of crazy questions in a series of mind games which just get worse as the movie progresses.

This is the sort of thing that the Gestapo or Joseph Stalin’s KGB would dream up in order to crack prisoners and make them confess but the mad psychopath, voiced by punk rocker Henry Rollins, doesn’t really have a confession in mind. All he wants to do is torment them to death. You get the impression there is no way out with it only going to go one way and that’s the ultimate death of the young couple but not before they have endured hell on earth and all things else. The tormentor is like an evil child, ripping off a spider’s legs one by one. He goes on about the number of layers in an onion which probably signifies a convoluted progress of torture.

Hours turn into days and the torture continues. They have no food except for a dead rat and there doesn’t seem to be any water. The psycho on the phone makes them do terrible things to each other and puts them through a mental maze by playing tricks with the cases which have combinations. They both become physically and mentally ill, even to the extent where Heather has a miscarriage. Throughout, there is a music score which is quite spooky and threatening.

You can tell this is going to end up in the complete degradation of two people. There was going to be no way out other than death. Having just watched an anniversary programme about 70 years since Auschwitz, there it was done for real with much more effectiveness but with this movie you get the feeling that we are going into the realms of a concentration camp. From the sort of scenario the couple find themselves within, usually such a movie has limited outcomes, these being they die in misery with all hope extinguished, they escape and get recaptured, one dies saving the other, they eventually escape for good, they are rescued or the psycho gets his just deserts. It’s bound to be one from that list but whatever happens at least they will escape from the claustrophobia that infects the entire movie. It stifling! You wish you had a can of fly killer!

‘In The House Of Flies’ isn’t as bloodthirsty as ‘Saw’ or other similar movies. It’s gruelling and cruel, more mentally than physically and, by the time you finish watching it, you will be completely washed out. Before playing the DVD, there was the thought that here we have yet another movie, a low-budget one, which treads the same path that many movies have gone before. Not another, you say, and you’ve seen them all before. However, it is different from the rest in that it’s set on a different plane of existence where most of the terror takes place in the mind which is enough to differentiate it from other movies. Additionally, the acting is very good, likewise the quality of direction and camerawork.

It’s a DVD which comes with plenty of extra material, including a commentary by the director Gabriel Carrer and the writer Angus McLennan, plus a 45 minute behind-the-scenes documentary, deleted scenes, a trailer and also material for a Spanish release. You couldn’t really ask for much more than that.

What was the point to this movie? Did it make moral statements? Did it break new ground in cinema? Was it an epic of originality? Negative to all of these but what it turned out to be was a horror movie of human endurance perpetrated by the idiosyncratic cruelty of our own species. It was a worthwhile work of this genre and it’s one to be recommended.

Rod MacDonald

January 2015

(Region 1 DVD: pub: MVD Entertainment. 1 DVD 92 minute film with extras. Price: $11.95 (US), £ 5.93 (UK). ASIN: B00M29R4XI)

cast: Henry Rollins, Lindsay Smith and  Ryan Kotack

check out website: www.mvdb2b.com

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Category: Films, Horror, MEDIA

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