Ed and Susan appear to be a normal couple, but behind their glistening exterior lies a deep, dark secret. They are snuff film-makers who plan to make a triple feature – three kills in just one night. They have set plenty of cameras up and around their house to capture every moment for their fan’s enjoyment, but their task becomes trickier than they first imagined.
House With 100 Eyes is ridiculously entertaining. It’s a dark, funny and bloody; all you could ever desire from a torture porn flick. It quickly sets a grim, yet humorous tone as we are introduced to the loving couple and their lurid plan. As the two leads Jim Roof and Shannon Malone are fantastic; they both embody the perfect amount of lunacy, but are also truly quite frightening as they stare unblinking directly in to your soul, or so it seems. They work perfectly together with great chemistry, finishing each other’s sentences in a credible and natural manner. Their marriage is built on a sinister understanding and they do well at portraying themselves as genuine killers, people who enjoy inflicting pain on their victims.
We are not placed in a voyeuristic position, but in a direct view of the show, as if we are admirers of this crazy couple as they talk to us via a video stream. The pair speak about the lack of vision and creativity in their competitors films and explain how they’re going to offer carnage like we’ve never seen. Brilliant! The film has now made us a promise; this is not going to be a generic, torture film with boring kills, it’s going to be something more. Luckily, the film does mostly keep to this promise and does contain moments that are unpleasant and difficult to watch, yet manages to be more than just your average torture film. There’s violence a-plenty, but there’s a brilliant amount of humour which shows that the film wants to have fun with its content and take the edge off of the bloodshed when it so desires.
In an almost reality show style, the couple hold auditions for the lucky trio who get to star in their film. It’s darkly comic to watch them bribe young people with 50 quid to get in a stranger’s car, promising them fame and fortune on the other side. Ah, the stupidity of the youth of today. Perhaps the film is a comment on celebrity and fame culture; mocking those that desire to be known regardless of the cost, willing to do just about anything to get their 15 seconds in the spotlight. The couple themselves are desperate to make a mark in their film industry, furthering the film’s satirical, mocking intentions.
For those who are after pure brutality may find some of what is on offer a bit tame. House With 100 Eyes does not intend to completely gross or freak its audience out, but instead prefers to grate at them with dialogue. An early moment of the film features a narration by Ed who describes the horrors he got up to when he was a child. The audience are allowed to visualise this in their mind, instead of relying on images produced by the film. It’s effective and adds an even creepy layer to the film’s already macabre atmosphere. This is not to say that the film is without its visually disturbing moments, because there’s an adequate amount of shocks and screams to put a smile on the face of those keen to see some true torment.
All in all, House With 100 Eyes is 100% bloody, hilarious and shocking fun. It’s held together and propelled by two fantastic leads who convey the perfect amount of insanity as they try to put their horrific plan in to action. It makes good use of a low budget and does plenty that should please fans of terror-filled and blood-ridden horror.
Words: Jessy Williams