Thursday, 7 March 2013

House of Bad (2012)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by Jim Towns

Written by Jim Towns, Scott Frazelle

Stars: Heather L. Tyler, Sadie Katz, Cheryl Sands, Lisamarie Costabile, Clint Jung. 

Big thanks to Scott Frazelle for sending me a copy of House of Bad, an indie horror film that he co wrote and serves as executive producer for.

I will start by saying that House of Bad is one hell of an horror flick. It fuses elements of thriller, the supernatural and intense family drama to deliver an hour and a half of frights and surprises.

Sisters Teig and Sirah team up with half sister Lily in order to execute a dangerous plan to escape the bottom of the barrel lives they have all succumbed to. Teig is an ex con, Sirah is a prositute and Lily is so far gone with drug addiction it's unreal. Seizing the chance to make off with a staggering amount of heroin from her pimp 'boyfriend' Sirah joins Teig and Lily on their journey to a better life. However their are reasons these girls have turned out the way they have and a plan to hide out in the childhood home of Sirah and Teig (Lily had a different mother and I don't want to spoil anything else about the girls complex family dynamics) is a very very bad idea indeed. It seems the ghosts of a very disturbing past literally haunt this house and they are going force the sisters to fight...or die.

Acting wise we actually get three very strong performances from our core characters. Heather L. Tyler plays 'sister in charge' Teig to absolute perfection. Teig is one bad ass bitch from hell who also possesses the logic, smarts and cunning to effectively pull off their dangerous plan...even if it does mean kicking her sisters into touch and even killing to succeed. I was truly impressed by Heather, who breathed life into the character of Teig with every sneer and snarky comment. Sadie Katz plays Sirah the more placid sister very effectively with an interesting mix of naivety, compassion and also strength - something we see more of later on in the film. I found Lily, the odd one out so to speak, to be adorable. Cheryl Sands gives a fantastic performance as the drug addled misfit from an uncertain background who doesn't quite know how to get her life back together and has never had, until now, the real guidance she has needed to help her. Until things get really bad for all three sisters, both Teig and Sirah really do try to be the older sisters they perhaps never really were in the past so it's sad to see these three tragedy ridden young woman can't just be close and happy.

The film is really well made with top notch production, excellent lighting, clear and crisp audio and some interesting direction. Writers Jim Towns and Scott Frazelle know their way around a scary story but also clearly have a knack for putting some dramatic and authentic emotion into their work. Don't get me wrong I thought the horror element to The House of Bad was perfectly creepy and enticing but I was actually more engrossed in the lives of Teig, Sirah and Lilly and their awful circumstances both past and present.

Highly recommended by me - I hope everyone gets to see this little diamond of an indie film sooner rather than later. Check it out on Facebook HERE!

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