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IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES (2012)
Published by David Carter on 2015/4/26 (811 reads)
Directed by Gabriel Carrer
Review by David Carter
Released by Parade Deck Films
Running Time: 89 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 5.1 Stereo English/English Subtitles
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Behind the Scenes, premiere footage, deleted scenes, commentary
Trailer Online: Yes
Serial killers are a relatively modern phenomenon and, unlike vampires and mummies, they are one of the few movie villains that people are afraid of outside the confines of the movie theatre. Both real-world and cinematic serial killers are a varied lot, so it should come as no surprise that serial killer cinema can take on many different forms. Films that focus on the killer themselves or the police’s efforts to catch them have long been the most prevalent styles of this subgenre. There has been a recent trend to shift that focus onto the victims; a move that simultaneously makes the films more relatable and terrifying.
One of the latest films in this trend is IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES from director Gabriel Carrer. FLIES is a claustrophobia-inducing nightmare concerning a pair of young lovers who find themselves abducted by a madman. The last thing Steve and Heather remember is having fun at a local carnival and losing consciousness as they got in the car to leave. They awake in a cramped and dingy basement, with the only potential exits being a ceiling hatch out of their reach and a small window they’d be unable to get through. The only objects in the room are a rotary phone missing the dial and four suitcases. As they rack their brains to figure out how they got there and how they’re going to get out, the phone rings and their unseen captor gives them the first of an increasingly bizarre and deadly set of instructions for their behavior.
FLIES is a primarily a story of how captivity impacts Steve and Heather’s relationship as that seems to be the primary thing that their captor is determined to attack. He gives each of them separate and sometimes conflicting instructions in an attempt to put them at odds with one another. As marriage was the last topic of discussion before their abduction, the metaphorical linking of marriage and their confinement won’t be lost on viewers. Much of the film is dedicated to the pair resolving issues between themselves, perhaps even more so than them struggling in captivity, making FLIES equal parts horror and relationship drama. Both leads – Ryan Kotack and Lindsay Smith – do an excellent job of balancing both aspects and manage to make their situation seem authentic despite the strange circumstances.
With regard to the horror aspects, FLIES is more Kafka than SAW. Tension is generated by the situation rather than through gore or torture. The film squarely falls into the psychological horror category and its success with viewers depends largely on whether or not they can envision themselves in the same situation. FLIES is a bleak film and when it offers hope it only does so briefly before snatching it away again and yet I found it to be less nihilistic than some other modern horror films. The film’s ultimate message advocates perseverance over simply accepting one’s fate.
This is the first release I’ve seen from Parade Deck but IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES comes with a solid DVD presentation. A clear print with a good audio presentation is supplemented by lengthy behind-the-scenes segment and several deleted scenes. A hit on the international film festival circuit, IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES will likely now be garnering even more fans on DVD. Definitely recommended for those brave souls among you looking for a film to psychological scare you for several days after viewing it.
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