Tuesday, March 10, 2015

There'll be Girls. They'll be Dead: Girl House (2014)

Girl House (Canada, 2014)
Rating: ****
Starring: Ali Cobrin, Adam DiMarco, Slaine

When I came upon Girl House (2014), I have absolutely no idea what I'm getting myself into; yes, I'm aware that this is another slasher movie and, yes, I was aware it has something to do with porn. But my God, I never knew it'll be this good. Guess it does help not to read about a movie before seeing it. (Um, sometimes. Imagine all the cash I would have saved from buying a copy of Sledge (2014) knowing how bad that was gonna be...)

We open in 1988 Alabama, where we watch a nameless chubby boy get chased and bullied into flashing himself by a couple of girls. This obviously sets him off and we later see him exacting vengeance upon one of the slanderous tykes by pushing her off a bridge.

Skipping to the present, Kylie is a college gal whose father recently passed away; hoping to settle her own tuition as a way to help her mum, she took the opportunity to star in a live webcam voyeur/chat show called Girl House, where paying viewers can watch the girls' daily X-rated adventures inside the titular house, as well as chatting with them mostly for a show. The house is supposedly unhackable, untraceable, and secluded to make sure no one would dare intrude and harass the girls living there. Seeing this as a fair and well thought offer, Kylie soon gets a tour of the place, settles in and become an instant hit during her first live strip show, earning the respect of most of the other girls living there and the site's faithful viewers.

This is when we get to see two of the many patrons of the site who we will be keeping an eye out for; one of them is Ben, who isn't technically a fan of the site but got drawn there after his bestfriend Alex have him watch the strip show, only for Ben to recognize Kylie and admit that she's a flame he's been keeping alive since kindergarden. Alex plots to have Ben man up and date the girl of his dreams, which is pretty sweet and gives the film a good plot bulk before the killing starts.

And speaking of which, the other patron is none other than the now-adult fat kid from the opening, usernamed "Loverboy". He grew up into a computer whiz (smart enough to undo the Girl House site's complicated firewall system) and is instantly infatuated with Kylie, but judging from the basement he dwells in full of edited pictures of him and the other house girls in romantic settings, not to mention the life-sized mannequin for kissing practices, it's obvious that the only kind of infatuation Loverboy will end up getting involves stalking and maybe a corpse or two.

The movie takes its time building up Kylie and Ben's budding relationship, all the while showing how Kylie is holding up with her new role as a teenage smut celebrity of sorts. But when a chat conversation between Loverboy goes wrong, Kylie and the girls soon face the deranged fan's wrath as he skillfully hacks into the site's security and video system, trailing the house's location and easily murdering his way through.

This is around the last third of the film and frankly, I think they pulled it off pretty well; part of why Girl House (2014) works as a slasher is that it paces itself fairly, building tension and depth within its premise rather than going full exploitation. Sure, there are some softcore scenes where the gals strip for show, but this isn't the main focus of the movie. Instead, it strides a good run looking into Kylie's character and the brooding of a mad man whose complicated hatred for girls is simply scarring and terrifying. Ali Cobrin of American Reunion (2012) does a fine job as Kylie, giving her a believable take as a teenager with a career choice that's not often something one would be proud of, but is doing everything she could to make it work eitherways. I find the choice of obscuring the character's strip session wise as it avoids dehumanizing her, hence the sleaze being minimal despite all the sexual set-pieces, something I also came to like about Girl House (2014).

Interestingly, the story goes as far as making the Girl House website and house itself entirely different from your usual smut sites; the owner is fair (and adorably gay), gives the girls all the freedom to do whatever they want with the patrons, meaning they can simply talk with them without ever showing their tits on screen. Not much focus were given on the girls, though, and thanks to this approach, they do come off more as meat for murder. A slight flaw from an otherwise perfect slasher film.

Then again, slasher fans should be thrilled to know that this film delivers on a great hack-a-thon; savagely non-CG slayings, inventive murder weapons, unexpected turns, and a really cool killer get-up, Girl House (2014) feels like a 90s slasher with 80s style killings. Since we get to know early who the killer is and why he is doing all of this, I have to admit that this made the plot lacking some tension, but the energy put into these set-ups and the fluid camera work help make up for the loss, bringing to life an even level of brutality and horror entertainment rarely seen nowadays.

The final result is a slasher movie that deserves to be seen by not just slasher fans, but horror purists as well. Good premise, excellent execution, well-scripted and acted casts, and bloody brutal kills, Girl House (2014) is too hot to miss!

1 girl pushed off a bridge
1 male had his head crushed with a door
1 male seen murdered
1 male seen with a throat cut
1 male seen murdered
1 male seen murdered
1 male had his neck broken
1 female strangled with a chord
1 female had a dildo shoved down her throat, smothered with a length of tape over her face
1 male beheaded with a hacksaw
1 female bashed on the head with a crochet mallet
1 female stabbed through the back with an animal horn
1 male stabbed in the neck with a screwdriver
1 female hacked with a hammer claw
1 female smothered with a plastic bag
1 male found bled to death from stab wound
1 male had his face pulped in with a camera
Total: 17

So Halloween (1978)!


  1. So many awesome new slashers being released...

    And I haven't watched any AT ALL in over a month...

    Silly distracting other hobbies.

    My "To Watch" pile grows ever huge...r(?).

    1. To be fair, not many new slashers came over the past few months since 2015 started. Well, nothing new AND that good.

      Consider this title a high priority on your list!

  2. Do you know anything about a movie called Savage Vows?

    1. The upcoming wedding-themed slasher? not much from my end sadly.

  3. Actualy, I was talking about a 1995 movie.