Review: GIRL HOUSE

girlhouse-posterThe slasher sub-genre is a very hit or miss one, with so many films boasting about hosting the brand new slasher icon and really just being more of the same. It’s a type of horror film that when it doesn’t work, it’s frustrating, but when it does, you’re left with a wide open grin. Giving one hell of an opening, the Trevor Matthews-directed GIRL HOUSE does what very few slasher films only attempt to do: give the horror crowd a villain that you not only sympathize with, but one that right when you feel sorry for him, he commits some horrific acts that blow away most slasher films made in recent days.

Telling the story of Kylie, a struggling college student who is faced with the opportunity to make decent money joining “Girl House” a secret location Mansion unknown to the public that is home to a group of girls, with cameras on them at all times. While she’s reluctant at first, Kylie needs the cash, so she opts to join, becoming one of the mansion’s resident webcam girls and making quite a few bucks in the process. A high-tech mansion with cameras rolling 24/7, the idea of the internet and especially the world of pornography is put under the microscope, with a cautionary tale of what happens when the wrong person logs in, and gets humiliated to the point of childhood trauma coming back to not only haunt him, but making him bring a wrath of violent fury upon the house of girls.

The film takes a very slow-burn approach, with giving the audience the chance to get to know Kylie as a person, and the girls that make up for the Girl House gang. Each girl is different from the previous one, and that works well with the film’s multiple arcs and especially with the death scenes. Though a good amount of nudity is prevalent in the film, it never comes off as exploitative, with the film’s focus being on what happens when something happens to the wrong person during childhood, leading them into finding solace in pornography and relying too much on thinking that these webcam girls are interested in him outside of the site. The character of Lover Boy (played by Boston rapper, Slaine) is an emotionally damaged one, and he spends the majority of his time in his basement, logged into the Girl House site, trying to find some form of acceptance. When the already emotionally and sexually scarred Lover Boy character is pushed over the edge by seeing the more superficial girls in the house make fun on him online, he begins wearing a woman’s mask with a long black wig, and goddamn is it terrifying looking. Once Lover Boy is pushed to that edge, he slowly makes his way into the house, before bringing hell there.

What set the film apart from so many other slasher films, is that fact that thought it begins subtle, when Lover Boy is unleashed, we don’t get the same ol’ girl running and tripping while the masked killer walks in the background. No, this serial killer RUNS at his victims and it’s absolutely scary as hell watching him do so. We care about the majority of the characters and when the gore and violence hits the screen, as a viewer, you really feel the dread and scares in your chest.

Quite easily the best slasher film in the last few years, GIRL HOUSE gets under your skin before ripping that skin right off, and leaving your heart racing throughout the entire film. It’s a refreshing and completely terrifying ride that you will not soon forget.

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