The House With 100 Eyes
Let me begin by saying I tried to go into this film being unbiased. I am not a fan of the new “genre” (I use that word lightly) of found footage. From the start I tried not judge but the movie begins by plastering across the screen, “In June of 2000, documentary filmmaker Jay Lee received an anonymous package containing fifty-eight unmarked video tapes and DVDs.” (Again I am not a fan of the whole we're going to sell this as real footage. I personally kind of take it as a slap in the face, I am intelligent enough to know if this footage was real it would have never made it on to my TV.) We cut to home video-esq camera footage of a few different women. That being said I immediately gave credit to the filmmaker because he actually took the time to add, “The footage they contained was so shocking and depraved that law-enforcement agencies and media outlets declared it a hoax.” So my interest was piqued, I thought this may be found footage but it’s to be a sick and twisted gore fest. Before the action starts the director tells you, “You are about to witness the creation of a snuff film (if you don’t know what a snuff film is dictionary.com defines it as follows. “a pornographic movie of an actual murder.”
The film opens with Ed (who is portrayed by Jim Roof) and his wife Susan (who is portrayed by Shannon Malone). They proceed to inform you that they feel you deserve more out of snuff films. Behind the scenes and directory commentary, this is their intent. From the beginning of the film, Jim begins to tell us how he tortured small animals as a child. I must warn at this point for animal loves this maybe a little hard to listen to. He proceeds to explain the house his wife and he live in, is a “cage” every room is wired with sound and video. The movie continues of a kind of off the wall home movie. Ed telling us about Susan’s pass transgressions, which upsets her they soon kiss and make up. Followed by Susan doing her make-up and bestowing us with some advice her mother passed down to her.
The first quarter of the film, follows Ed and Susan as they are on the prowl to find a threesome to star in their film. This time is filled with them cruising the streets of Hollywood, talking about how it’s easy to pick up girls on Sunset Blvd. because that is where a lot of the runaways head. Next we have a swap with Ed behind the camera and Susan driving as they head down to “Skid Row” since there is where many of the prostitutes work. A lot of this scene was shot on a handheld camera so it is a bit shaky at points. I feel the need to point out there is a point in the film where Ed watches an old
movie Susan and Him made. At which point he pleasures himself in screen (while the his gentles are blurred out you can see his vigorous arm motion.) I mention it for two reasons one being some people will be turned off by it. The second I felt this was one of the few scenes in the film that kind of sells it as a true snuff film (being a person who reads up and knows serial killers, they often kill for sexual gratification and when they relive the kill to become aroused.) so it for me it showed the writer and director took the time to study.
Without giving away too much of the plot, they continue down the sick and twisted road. For those who can get past the gore, you will be in for a treat. Like I stated at the beginning of the review I am not one for found footage. But I was pleasantly surprised with the film. The acting for me is what truly sold the film. Both Jim Roof and Shannon Malone both sell the idea of being unhinged psychopaths. They sell the lack of empathy and emotion, they sell really enjoying what they are doing to these people. Now also Larissa Lynch, Liz Burghdorf and Andrew Hopper really sell the pain, the fear and torment they are supposedly experiencing. The special effects too were above and beyond for a low budget film. Along the ride the cast of characters is expanded and also sell their characters. One girl goes as far as even selling a person who is likely suffering from Stockholm syndrome. For those who have had the pleasure of seeing Behind the Mask (Where it is campy and even comical at times) meets August Underground (That harsh in your face, home movie of a serial killer) you will get a real feeling of this film. Now I understand some people are not a big fan of gore. If you have the stomach and get past the gore, the movie stands as a testament to what you can do with found footage. It helped me to see why low budget and unknown filmmakers are turning to the genre of found footage.
reviewed by Shawn