The Seasoning House (2012) – By Duane L. Martin

A young, deaf mute girl named Angel is taken when her village is taken over by militia and everyone is killed, including her mother who was killed right in front of her. She’s taken to an abandoned hotel of some sort that’s currently being used as a whore house run by an absolutely vile and unscrupulous man named Viktor, who falls in love with Angel, thereby saving her from being one of the captured sex slave girls. She’s forced to take care of the slave girls, and to drug them before they’re used each time. Often the girls are abused, and every once in a while, they end up dead at the brutal hands of the customers.

Angel discovers that there are crawlspaces throughout the building that she can fit through that allow her to go virtually anywhere inside the building she wants. This was her life now, and she performed her duties as demanded by Viktor, even though she felt horrible about doing it.

During this time, she befriended one of the girls who could also speak sign language because of her deaf father. That is, until Commander Goran and his men showed up. One of them choked her friend to death while he was having sex with her, and that was the last straw for Angel. She had a knife that she had secreted away, and she came through the crawlspace and killed him after an absolutely brutal fight. After that, both Goran’s men and Viktor were after her, and she had to both run and kill if she was going to escape with her life.

Ok, let me start off by saying that this was the film that I was least looking forward to reviewing this month. I absolutely HATE these kinds of films, as they’re typically made just to be as disturbing as they can be for the sake of being disturbing.

That said, I have to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong about this one. This film is excellent from start to finish, and I don’t think there’s any possible way I could have been more impressed with it.

First off, I have to say this before I even get to anything else. This movie, hands down, has the best, most realistic gore and wound effects I’ve ever seen in a film. I mean they’re just absolutely amazing. There are scenes that will literally have you saying, "Oh my god!" because they’re so shockingly real.

That’s not where the realism of this film ends however. The acting on the part of everyone in the cast is stunningly realistic, and the entire look of the film makes you just feel dirty all over. The whorehouse itself looks like you could get a disease just walking into it. The place is a dump, the girls are dirty and terrified and the men are abusive and vile.

The courage and determination showed by Angel (Rosie Day) will really have you pulling for her throughout the film. It’s hard enough pulling off a character when you can verbalize it, but when you have to play a mute and every aspect of the character has to come through physically, that’s an incredible challenge, and she was nothing short of amazing at pulling it off. Add to it the fact that she’s actually quite short and thin in real life, and it makes her struggles against men several times her size even more tense and terrifying.

This film is disturbing on many levels, but it’s not just about being disturbing. It’s about the triumph of the human spirit and the desire to survive. In so many of these films, you just don’t care when people die. In this one, every time one of the girls dies, you feel it keenly, and that’s the sign of a film that has depth and realism to it. It’s the sign of quality film making, and this film had quality in spades.

This new release from Well Go USA includes a making of featurette and the film’s trailer as special features.

Even if you typically hate these kinds of films, like I usually do, you have to do yourself a favor and check this one out. It’ll win you over. I guarantee it. It’s brutal, it’s real, and it has characters you’ll both revile and genuinely care about.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out its page on the Well Go USA website here, and if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get the blu-ray or DVD from Amazon, or from any of the other usual outlets.