Girl House (2014) – By Kirsten Walsh

In an attempt to make some extra cash while away at College, Kylie moves into a house that streams content to an X-rated website. After a deranged fan hacks in to determine the house’s location, she finds herself in a terrifying fight for her life.

This film may sound entirely cheesy, but it was surprisingly good. The effects are decent, the cinematography pretty darn good, and the acting fitting a decent film that exploits the girls while telling a terrifying tale. The concept is not as original as the trailer eludes to and can be broken down into one simple line: “Bullied kid gets revenge”. The character of Loverboy is one that people can relate to on the surface- someone who has been sucked into social media a bit too much. But his main issue- the social media is interactive with him. Bullied as a child by two mean girls, he snapped and became a psychopath, killing one of them within the first few minutes of the film. In an awesome kill scene (but not for the faint hearted) Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle in the TV show “Gotham”) is terrorized on a bridge above a shallow creek. This sets the tone for how serious director Trevor Matthews is taking this film, and what the audience should expect for the rest of it.

Once we flash forward to today, things ease up. Of course, sexuality plays a major factor into the film at this point. Back in the early 2000’s- when MTV was hitting the reality TV scene hard, this style of house would have been a mainstay- a house full of hot chicks. Of course, these hot chicks are more like strippers, doing webcam shows (there is some nudity from some of the girls, but it isn’t extremely overt). The house is owned (of course) by a guy (who has a twist of his own), and has a small team of guys to help him, but the film maintains a small cast of soon-to-be-victims.

Loverboy is reminiscent of the idea of “Rusty Nail” from the Paul Walker film Joyride. A wannabe popular, “I just want to be loved” kind of guy who gets on the wrong end of the joke from the girls in the house, and then seeks to show them just how wrong they truly were. In a mixture of House on Haunted Hill, Joyride, and Halloween: Resurrection, the film has a voyeuristic feel, following the girls as they are hunted through the cameras meant to catch them in sensual acts, not getting killed. This is not a found footage film by any means, but there are some unique tactics employed to set this film apart.

The acting was definitely an ensemble approach in this film. While Kylie (played by the glowing Ali Cobrin) was assuredly the lead of the film, the other girls showcased just as much talent and dedication to their characters. There was a constant flow throughout the film as the mood shifted from playful to painful, which made this film really stand out in an ocean of cheaply made horror films that don’t give the audience what they deserve. The effects also had a good payoff. While not exactly realistic (shoving a phallic object in a girl’s mouth wouldn’t necessarily work the way the film played it to), the effects were humorous and fun, harkening back to some of the great slashers of the 1980’s!

Ultimately, would I watch this film again? Hell yes. This is definitely great indie horror film that has promise! I look forward to director Trevor Matthews’ next film.

The film comes out on VOD and in select theaters on February 13th, and you can find out more about it on the IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2577172.