Farm House (2008) – By Baron Craze

Farm House is a thrilling film, with many layers of psychological impacts, with beautiful scenery and in what better way to have horror themes rising up and shocking the audience, than with an inviting location and quaint title, vastly different from the implied German DVD box title Cabin Massacre. A title created to cash in on the psychology impact of Pavlov’s response for horror fans using the word massacre, but also hinting to a nod to torture-porn audience too, as many know using word placement in a title, will increase the rentals. Director George Bessudo reteams with his Lake Dead (2007) screenwriters Jason Hice and Daniel P. Coughlin who has no problem with horror films, as he penned Ditch Day Massacre (2013) with Bill Oberst Jr. to create a tension driven horror movie.  This team, production has religious undertones present in the characters, and storyline, with at times diabolical mannerism, which show the consequences of lack of repenting and forgiveness have dire results.

Hice and Coughlin bring a wonderful storyline, with depth of characters to Bessudo, as a young couple tangled in multiple problems and issues, leaving and escaping the traps of their own doing, heading for a new start, but the lateness of the hour and growing shadows capture them in a new peril. Their problems mount from Chad’s gambling addition, and the loss of their infant son, which seems to have more impact on wife, Scarlett than her husband, and in lays the rub feuding, and suspicions to the audience to ponder.  As Chad falls asleep at the wheel, crashing into a ditch, taking a utility box, and finding a cell phone dead spot for good measure, the problems continue for the couple.  In the distance, there’s salvation, a little vineyard run by Samael and Lilith but learns it’s 30 miles to the next town, hence they must spend the night. Horror fans, immediately know the names of the loving wine owner’s raises numerous red flags, and then cruelty of Samael to the mute farm hand Alal, points to a deeper hint and a broader subject. Samael (Steven Weber) brings the joking qualities from his television series Wings, and yet the psychopathical mindset from Stephen King’s The Shining, while wife Lilith portrayed by the exquisite Kelly Hu, exceptionally showing the skills of sinister glances and knowingly seductive phrases, showing she’s come a long way from Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989).  Steven and Kelly really provide delicious elements to the film, which they  combine from their 34 horror movies and understanding the script, the genre and conceived back-stories.  Soon enough the torture starts with waterboarding, cheese grating skin, and meat thermometers to brain thumping, and George does this all after treating the audience with respect and laying the ground work for his character’s intentions in non-menacing pleasant development. In the evening the two couples gather for some enjoyable wine, and learn “in vino veritas” the Latin phrase translating to “in wine there is truth” meaning you reap what you sow suggested by Samael in nod to scripture.

The interesting twist in the torture porn segment, results in the erotic embraces of Samael and Lilith, who get aroused by each others suffering, and here again the undertones exposes them to viewers. This allows for a bit of chase to ensue in the isolated vineyard leading the couple in a spiraling downward facing their previous judgments and secrets to reconcile and accept for their own wrongdoing.   Herein the religious undertones exposed under the moonlight with a tad cheesy special effect, discovering who their captors truly represent, Samael , the angel of death, with Lilith a name synonymous with a seductive night creature, commonly used occult ceremonies and horror storylines. However, one must not forget Alal (Nick Heyman) who does admiral job in this lesser role, a more obscure name found in Christian demonology, balancing out their unholy trinity all submitting to Jack Donner as the Dark One.  Meanwhile, Chad (William Lee Scott) and Scarlett (Jamie Anne Allman) who wonderfully handle their characters as both frustrated and troubled with the current situations, placing them into a mortal dilemma against themselves and their adversaries.  

Bessudo truly gives a wonderful story to the horror fans, with a well-thoughtful storyline, clean production, and tight scene control and shows how to bring together a thriller film with torture-porn aspects layered with religious undertones. This film, from Monarch Home Video has everything nicely presented for viewing, not an over-the-top gore-hound trip, nor PG-13 field trip, rather filled with cryptic suggestions, and well contain gothic tale to enjoy.

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