House of Forbidden Secrets (2014) – By Misty Layne

House of Forbidden Secrets is a delightful romp through a ghost infested, blood splattered strip mall basement. Instead of looking like your regular strip mall, however, this one is an old building with the rooms being made into offices (hence the basement in the first place). The story starts with a new guy showing up for his first day (or rather night) on the job as the night security guard. He’s told the job is the easiest job ever and the boss even warns him not to fall asleep, as that’s why the last 10 or so night guards didn’t last but alas, the poor guy is in for one long ass, hell of a night.

While new guy starts going around and introducing himself to all the nighttime players, he hooks up with a dude with some sort of donkey fetish, named Jackson who shows him around the building. Lucky, or perhaps unlucky for them, they walk into the local tarot shop just in time to take part in a seance. New guy is wary because he was raised in the church and had a rather bad experience witnessing an exorcism but half-heartedly agrees to participate. What happens next is unexpected – instead of the medium channeling the dead husband of the sweet older lady who’s visiting her, she channels instead something or someone who sounds positively demonic but who spouts off biblical verses and propaganda. Oh, and did I mention that all of this is being captured on film for the local news station? Of course it is. *winks*

After everyone gets over their "What the fuck just happened?" moment, the sweet older woman decides to get the hell outta there and that’s kind of when all hell breaks loose. Like literally. For about half the movie we see this group of people running all over this building while ghost people and zombies sneak around (at least I took them for zombies since they kept eating people but they weren’t regular "Night of the Living Dead" zombies – more like ghost zombies…). People start dying one by one, then their bodies start disappearing and before you know it, what’s left of the group ends up in the basement underneath the strip mall – a basement that appears to be a complete labyrinth full of creepy terrors. Plus there’s some pretty sweet flashback scenes to a brothel (those were actually my favorite scenes as the cinematography was extremely well done there). But that’s all I can give up about the movie. If you wanna find out why people are dying, who’s killing them and more, you’ll have to watch the movie yourself.

And I highly recommend you do watch. Sure, this is one low budget film and it’s low on frights but it’s done with heart, not to mention it features a kickass cameo by Lloyd Kaufman, who is a personal hero of mine. There’s gore aplenty and sweet throwbacks to the days of non-digital special effects. The acting’s not half bad (admittedly some people were better than others but no one just flat out sucked). Oh, and at one point there’s blood soaked boobs – who doesn’t love that? No horror fan I know of, at any rate. For somewhat standard fare, the film keeps you entertained without going over the top and does have its moments of originality. It’s got a grindhouse feel to it and it doesn’t take itself too seriously – it knows it’s a fun movie and that’s all that matters. Also if the house/office building in this was turned into an actual haunted house for Halloween, it would kick some serious ass!

If you wanna learn more about the awesomeness that is House of Forbidden Secrets, visit their website. And happy watching!