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DEAD HOUSE (2014)
aka BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
Directed by Brini Amerigo
Written by Brini Amerigo, Andrea Cavaletto, Marco Palese
Starring Danny Cutler, Alex Lucchesi, Alex Southern, Kate Davies-Speak, David White, James Wiles, Vanina Marini, Alexandra Antonioli, Ettore Nicoletti, Enrico Galli, Andrea Levialdi Ghiron, Franchino Paradise, Valeria Petrignano, Giorgio Spedicato
Find out more about this film here!
While there really is no such thing as an original story anymore, it is important that even though one is using elements from other existing films/stories to make some kind of effort to make it eventually different as the story proceeds. DEAD HOUSE borrows heavily from everything from MARTYRS to FUNNY GAMES to Romero’s zombie films, but forgets to bland any of those elements with even an ounce of nuance.
A group of deviants roam from house to house looting, raping, destroying, and making the occupants have sex with one another, as established in the uncomfortable opening moments where they make a mother and father have sex with their kid watching. After finishing with one household, they happen upon another one owned by a doctor and his family. As the invaders go about their business of raping, killing, and destroying everything, they are alerted to the doctor’s lab in the basement which houses…zombies. The home invasion turns into ground zero for a zombie apocalypse.
I wasn’t really bothered by the clumsy way this film was put together. It simply begins as an unsettling home invasion/rape film and then shifts gears into a zombie film. Never forgetting how it began, the film wedges one last rape into the latter portion of the film for the hell of it. It follows the story structure of MARTYRS, showing horror and then descending even further into another horror underneath what looks to be a quiet suburban home. But in MARTYRS, we had characters to care for. Here we simply don’t. We never get to know the family that much and the home invaders are repulsive and unlikable (even the semi-innocent one proves to be a monster). Another thing that bothered me was the callous way the film handles the violence toward these innocent families. Because the acting is so bad all around, you really don’t care about the people being hurt and so much violence towards the women in this film is left unanswered without any type of comeuppance (as is one of the few redeeming qualities of most rape/revenge films). This is just rape porn with zombies.
I don’t want to hate this film. In fact, I don’t. Part of me appreciates the film’s inability to follow genre norms, depicting violence with no real response to it, suggesting not a moral bone in this film’s body. I like films that take risks and buck convention. I appreciate this film’s lack on conventionality, but that doesn’t mean I was entertained. DEAD HOUSE rolls around in the violence like a pig in slop without remorse or a character to feel for–which makes it hard to give a care about or recommend.
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