The Wrong House DVD Review
Written and Directed by Eric Hurt
2013, Region 2 (PAL), 105 minutes, Rated 15(UK)
DVD released on 8th April 2013
Marc Singer as Charlie Hays
Art LaFleur as Don Thomson
Hayley Dumond as Susan Hays
Janey Gioiosa as Emmy Hays
Paul McGill as Jason Thomson
Victoria Vance as Leslie Thomson
Two families suffer a serious case of dejá vu when they’re drawn to a rustic house in the middle of the woods. Pretty soon they start to suspect there might be larger forces at play and the key to their salvation may be drenched in blood. That’s the hook of this claustrophobic thriller from relative newcomer Eric Hurt. For his first non-short directorial effort, he toys around with shadowy intrigue and cabin fever craziness as his two fractured families try to come to terms with their uncanny situation. What Hurt serves up is akin to a morbid rendition of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, replacing clenched-teeth comedy with sinister undertones and dark secrets.
But let’s rewind and find out what it’s all about. The recently divorced Charlie (Marc Singer) is hauling his new lady Susan (Hayley DuMond) and his step-mum hating daughter Emmy (Janey Gioiosa) into the countryside to view a house. Meanwhile, the short tempered Don (Art LaFleur) is dragging his family on a similar real estate hunt. While his snarky son Jason (Paul McGill) and timid wife Leslie (Victoria Vance) peruse a sub-par home, a mysterious stranger approaches Don and informs him of an airy open house a few miles out of town. Intrigued, he unknowingly sets his sights on the same home Charlie is headed straight for. On arrival, the two families have their paths blocked by a panic stricken young woman who jumps in front of Charlie’s car. Bedraggled, bloodied and without a tongue, this mysterious stranger seems terrified of the house and returning through its doors but with help miles away, crossing the threshold is their only option.
The two families and their tongueless guest quickly find out that entering the house is easy but leaving is no simple task. No matter how far they venture from its four walls - rendering their feet spent and engines dry - like an episode of The Twilight Zone, they always end up back where they started. As if trapped here for a reason, an unseen force provides them with two resources: canned food (one per house guest) and time. Lots and lots of time. As the days turn to weeks, paranoia starts to bubble away, forcing the dark pasts to rise to the surface. Before long, we start to suspect that each family member has a part to play and one way or another, the house intends to cleanse them of their sins.
Dark, brooding and surprising at times, Hurt imbues The Wrong House with enough steady intrigue to keep you interested throughout. Its Groundhog Day-meets-haunted-house hook is fresh and watching it you’ll wonder why it’s not been explored more within the horror genre’s shady nooks and crannies. Of course, such repetition can lead to a lull in the action. Thankfully Hurt is often the first person to notice when things start to get a little stale, throwing in a dash of danger or an eyebrow raising twist just in the knick of time. While in hindsight The Wrong House may not be one you return to often, it’s definitely worth a look around.
Video and Audio:
Great, had no problem with either. Picture and sound both sharp.