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November 21, 2014

Movie Review: In the House of the Flies (2013)

Directed by Gabriel Carrer

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Steve (Ryan Kotack) and Heather (Lindsay Smith) are a young couple out for a night of fun when they return to their car. Their booby-trapped vehicle is permeated with knockout gas, and the two lovebirds pass out unconscious to awake into a nightmare scenario: A filthy cellar made of gray cinder blocks without a means of escape. Left with a wastebasket to hold their bodily wastes, Steve and Heather are then subjected to a series of tests by an unseen madman (Ryan Barrett) who communicates with them through an old dial telephone sans its dial. Starved and denied water, Steve and Heather are commanded into a series of degrading tests in order to live another day. Things get worse and worse and worse until Heather drops a bomb on Steve: She's carrying his child. What do you suppose happens next? It does …

In the House of the Flies is an especially grueling horror film, devoid of any aesthetic beauty and a story that can only go from bad to worse to even worse. The film is an endurance test for the viewer, which, as these types of projects usually are, dares the audience to see what happens next. Grisly and relentless, it must be noted, however that since the couple's ordeal goes into weeks, that Heather's hair remains fluffy clean and Steve's beard barely goes past the two-day stubble phase. A story with a starkly simple premise makes these little inconsistencies stand out.

Made with only the barest essentials, the In the House of the Flies DVD comes packed with extras. There is a 48-minute behind the scenes documentary, which shows Barrett recording his morbid dialogue in an ultra-modern recording studio. There is also Spain premiere archival footage, deleted scenes, trailers and director and writer commentary.

A harrowing, claustrophobic endurance test, In the House of the Flies should only be viewed by those who know what they're getting into. It's the only recent horror film that this reviewer can cite off the top of his head that pushed as many buttons with only the barest minimum of blood and gore. One looks forward to – or dreads what director Gabriel Carrer comes up with next ….

Available on both DVD and VOD, the film’s official Web site can be found here.

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