Newlyweds, Mike and Marisol, are given the tour of their potential dream home by a perky real estate agent. They soon find out that their perfect house has a past. The ugly horrors of this house are laid in shocking tales of terror and despair!
This anthology film starts in a refreshing manner. A standard family emerge from their home in sunny suburbia to have dinner at a neighbours’. Whereas often the family would be swapping cutesy witticisms with each other, this one is arguing and cursing before their own front door is shut behind them. As it turns out, this family returns to feature in the last of this trio of tales involving various bloody misdeeds that have occurred in the basement of this house over the years.
Of the three stories, the first is an enjoyably perverse, open-ended piece in which hints are given about possible unsavoury relations between four family members involved in a séance.
The second is my favourite, and features a gleefully animalistic character who keeps his ‘guests’ in two cages. One, he abuses regularly but keeps alive – she is his ‘audience’. The second cage is used far more regularly, as the unfortunates he brings to that one don’t live for very long after he begins to systematically torture them in various graphic ways. The relationship takes on an almost humorous familiarity before it, too, ends with no real sense of closure.
And to the third story, which deals with the original family being tortured also, in various horrifying ways – perhaps the worst is the daughter of the house stabbed multiple times and then thrown into a bath of lemon juice. Without any real narrative, however, this emerges simply as scenes of torture for the sake of it.
There’s no real conclusion to the overall story either, which is disappointing, other than now, in the present day, someone has actually brought the property, and already there is a body in the basement …
This is an odd experience. At turns gratuitous, funny, but ultimately fairly plotless.