Friday, July 31, 2009
Hell House: The Book of Samiel (2009)
I want to preface this review by mentioning a few things. I have always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument (preferably guitar) and I've always wanted to write a screenplay and hopefully have it made into a feature film one day. But for some reason or another, when I start out in trying to accomplish both, my ADD ass can't seem to conquer either one. I even went as far as buying a real guitar, thinking my air guitar skills would translate into being able to do the real thing, but as I type this review, I stare at it, sitting in the corner of my office collecting dust. Kudos to anyone that puts pen to paper or fingers to guitar and makes shit happen.
Hell House: The Book of Samiel starts off in familiar territory. A group of goofy kids are out in the middle of the country, knocking back a few and telling ghost stories. Meanwhile, a local news team is headed out their way, seeking to cover the anniversary of a gruesome discovery. It goes something like this: a boyfriend and girlfriend head out to the area one night for some good ol' fashioned neckin'. Of course, the father of the girl does not approve of the relationship. He meets up with them and in a fit of fury, shot gun blasts the both of them and lights them on fire. Thanks pops! Its been said that when folks come out to the area, their car is inexplicably pushed towards the house at the end of the road. The house also happens to be haunted.
So naturally, the kids coax each other into staying at the house one night. This is where things start to get weird and a little convoluted. They head on out to the house and stop by the dwellings of a local soothsayer (why they decide to stop there or how they know of the gal is never fully explained). She tells them not to go up there but like the douchey teens that they are, they blow her off and head up there anyways.
The kids get to the supposedly haunted home and settle in for the night, partaking in the hallmarks of what makes a teenage horror flick, well, a teenage horror flick: drugs, sex, more sex, even lesbian sex, AND a visit is also paid by every woman's favorite mechanically enchanced device. As the night progresses, we come to find out that demons haunt the home and an ancient evil is trying to pass over into our world and needs a sacrifice. That sacrifice is one of the guy's in the group, who happens to be a virgin. The soothsayer teams up with the group and like a super hero sorceress, she wields her Super Mario pluck pluck fireball magic and fends off a random dude (also inexplicably thrown into the mix and its not clear as to why he's there) and some of the kids who are under the spell of the demon invaders. Nothing is interconnected and by this time, I had a hard time piecing this whole mess together.
The big 'shocker' of the film comes after everyone is able to escape and the presumably dead girlfriend of one of the dudes comes back to life, fulfilling the virgin sacrificial need and (I assume) it allows the demon to come over into their world.
This film suffers greatly from a multitude of things: a copious amount of plot holes, the soundtrack is overdubbed and at times, its hard to hear the dialogue and the banter dispensed was also rather head scratching. When one of the girls in the group tells a story of her grandmother dying at a hospital, she mentions that she was asleep at home, woke up at the exact moment that she died, saw the figure of dear ol' gran' mum, looked away for a moment, it disappeared and ultimately she deemed the figure as 'evil'. Huh?
Overall, this was a truly mind boggling affair. At times, I felt like I was watching two different movies. The story of the father killing his daugther and her boyfriend never really fit into the entire mythos of the film and the demons and their reasonings for haunting the house were never fully explained. I can't entirely recommend this although there were some decent story ideas and production values. But on the whole, it was a total mess.
Cortez the Killer