"Go away, demon!"
Added 9th March 2019
Review by: Greg DeLiso
The House / AKA Huset
Initially released in 2016,
The House (Huset), set during WW2 in the Norwegian wilderness, three soldiers at wartime are stuck together on a dire trek. They happen upon a house, providing them much needed food and shelter from the harsh winter landscape.
They soon find the titual house to be haunted; flashing lights, odd crackling coming from the radio, and maybe even a mysterious guest. Comprising our trio; the commanding officer Jurgen Kreiner, who leads the brash, young Andreas Fleiss, who wants to kill Rune Henriksbø, their Norwegian prisoner of war, all have stepped into a sort of psychological hell from which there may be no escape.
The House (Huset) is a movie that fans of mannered, intellectual horror will like. The performances were solid and well directed — for me that was Reinert Kiil’s real strength here. The historical context and political dynamics between the three characters was interesting. As I watched the movie, it occurred to me that House’s color palate and lighting choices would play very well in a theater setting, on a big screen in a dark room this movie would really envelope you. The DP and director were able to capture a mood, using mostly negative space in the form of darkness. Our characters are often lit from the side, with stark, high contrast highlights, so that all we can see is a sliver of their face.
The claustrophobic feel was intentional and adds to the atmosphere that many horror fans will really appreciate. The House is a curious and restrained departure. The story did feel personal and I found myself being interested in the person behind this story.
Where The House unravels for me is its plot. Unfortunately, and I stress that word because I do think this movie could have a wider audience — I found the feature anti-climactic and confusing. The moments of tension felt forced by cliched, swells in the sound track. Tense moments were squelched by simply cutting to black and then jumping ahead in time. Characters will be curiously investigating the most recent haunting, the scene will be building up, ramping to an exclamation point and then, instead, we are given a quick dip to black and then it’s on to the next scene. These lapses through the tense moments made it hard to become invested in the mood. As the plot unraveled, I found the answers to the questions within; who is haunting these people and why? to be unsatisfying.
Ultimately, this curiously intellectual and wonderfully atmospheric movie fell flat for me, I found it to be a movie that is still searching for its own identity. Had it been less hand-held and committed more to its own atmosphere I think it could’ve been longer and even more tense.
However The House has a maturity that a lot of horror fans will love! Maybe worth and extra 1/2 B.
THE B CLUB RATING : B B
Starring: Rune Henriksbø, Jurgen Kreiner, Andreas Fleiss
Director: Reinert Kiil
The House (Huset) - English, German & Norwegian with English subtitles is available now from on DVD/Blu-ray and coming to VOD.
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