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HOUSE OF DEMONS (2018)

aka TRIP HOUSE
Directed by Patrick Meaney
Written by Patrick Meaney
Starring Kaytlin Borgen, Amber Benson, Helene Udy, Whitney Moore, Taliesin Jaffe, Morgan Peter Brown, Chloe Dykstra, Dove Meir, Jeff Berg, Jeff Torres, Daisy McCrackin, Alexia Dox, Tiffany Smith, Jennifer Wenger, Jen Araki, Jordan Byrne, Bonnie Gordon, Mickey Faerch, Maryna Sokolovska, Paradox Pollack, Brian Townes, Xhuliano Ujka, Julia Lambson, & Fredy Ingels as Santa Claus!
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Reviewed by Mark L. Miller aka Ambush Bug

Ambitious and trippy are two words I’d use to describe director Patrick Meaney’s first feature film, HOUSE OF DEMONS.

A group of estranged friends who have veered off in different directions reunite in a cabin to celebrate the marriage of one of their own. But the locale has a dark history involving a cult, psychotropic drugs, and traveling through time.

What I liked about this film was the reality bending premise which revolves around a group of hippies who follow a leader who is equal parts Charles Manson and Timothy Leary. While it is a concept reminiscent of BAD DREAMS, the exploration of that concept is less wannabe 80’s slasher and more of a deeper character analysis of this group of friends. And the angst is deep here, with everything wrong with the group coming to a head at this wedding. It feels very genuine as who isn’t guilty of measuring ones own life when attending a friend’s wedding? The whole thing is ripe for a potentially great horror film.

And the story is pretty scary and the situations quite dire. This has everything to do with an extremely talented cast of up and coming actors and actresses. Leading the pack is BIRDEMIC’s Whitney Moore, Kaytlin Borgen, and Morgan Peter Brown who have fascinating arcs and problems to overcome and do so in different ways with grit and power that shows these actors have long careers ahead of them. The rest of the cast is good as well with each of the friends having an obstacle to overcome. Props to filmmaker Meaney who is able to pull off telling a story with multiple characters without letting one feel short changed or lost in the shuffle.

There are a few solid scares in HOUSE OF DEMONS and a bizarre appearance of Santa Claus to be expected in this weird little film. The budget is low, but the solid acting and deft story really covers that up pretty well. Intense character dissections and great performances are what you’re going to get when you enter this HOUSE OF DEMONS.

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