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THE SELLING (2011)
Directed by Emily Lou
Written by Gabriel Diani
Starring Gabriel Diani, Jonathan Klein, Janet Varney, Etta Devine, Nancy Lenehan, Barry Bostwick
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THE SELLING is one of those horror comedies that may not scare the pants off of you, but it will make you laugh in all the right places. This one definitely works better as a comedy with horrific elements rather than a straight up horror comedy like SHAUN OF THE DEAD with equal parts comedy and horror.
A real estate agent stumbles onto a house that was previously owned by a mass murderer. Now the agent (Richard Scarry, like the children’s book author, played by writer/actor Gabriel Diani) must try to sell the house, which appears to be very, very haunted. Richard is your typical nice guy and selling a haunted house doesn’t sit well with him, but his mother is sick with cancer and in order to pay for her treatments, he’s got to sell the house at all costs.
Despite such dour concepts as serial murder and cancer, THE SELLING proves to be a laugh out loud success. All of the cast are comedically spot-on with their timing and delivery. Though it is a ludicrous situation, the conviction of Diani and his lummox partner Dave (played perfectly by Jonathan Klein) to sell the house and overlook all of the typical haunted house horrors was an absolute joy to see. This is a comedy with a lot of heart. The makers have seen all of the haunted house horror films. In fact, most of them are referenced throughout the story with bee attacks, bleeding walls, testy plumbing, portals to the unknown, and ghostly apparitions in extremely humorous ways.
The effects are fun, and though the budget is obviously on the lower end, the real sell is the fantastic delivery from the charming characters and quirky humor throughout. Plus, it’s got a fun supporting cast like ROCKY HORROR’s Barry Bostwick as a reverend sent to exorcize the house and character actress Nancy Lenehan as Richard’s mom.
Though the laughs get somewhat sparse towards the end, there’s a fun feel to this film throughout. I especially loved a sequence where a possessed Richard tries to poison his co-workers with disastrous results.
Looking for a good location to laugh till you drop? THE SELLING is the right place for you.