I've Been A Film Enthusiast as Long as I can remember. I Suffer from the Same Disease Leonard did in Memento.
Another week, another review for a horror movie starring Justin Long and Kate Bosworth. I'm going to do you a favor because you saved by Gordy’s life. If you saw Barbarian weeks ago and thought, “That movie was so good. Another horror movie starring Kate Bosworth and Justin Long and Kate Long and Bos Just from the guy that made that Nicolas Cage movie with the BEES, the BEES has to be great too!”
Well, you’d be wrong. In fact, if you haven’t seen Barbarian yet, force yourself to sit through House of Darkness first because Barbarian will feel exponentially better because your expectations will be lowered. Much, much lowered.
"Have you seen Waiting...? Ryan Reynolds is in it!"
SYNOPSIS OF DARKNESS
We’re at a meet-cute along a solitary road in the middle of the night.
Scratch that. The meet-cute already happened. What we see now is the aftermath. It’s a tale as old as time. A boy driving girl home hoping to, you know.
We meet our male protagonist and his name is Hap Jackson (Justin Long- Drag Me To Hell). He’s driving home a pretty young woman named…
If I tell you her name and you know anything about horror, then you might know where everything is going after 10 minutes.
Then again, you still might know everything that’s going to happen after the first 10 minutes. Everything is telegraphed nice and loudly like this week’s new release Don’t Worry, Darling.
I didn’t review that movie because Harry Styles spit on me and Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh got into a shouting match and I don’t like loud noises.
Anyway, Hap and…Kate Bosworth were at a bar and Hap was nice enough to take Kate Bosworth home. Because Hap is a nice guy and not just hoping to get in Kate Bosworth’s blue crush.
Besides, Kate Bosworth made three movies with Kevin Spacey. She’s either scarred for life or can handle herself like John Wick.
Hap pulls up to Kate’s house. It’s a nice f*cking house. He’s amazed at the size of it all but he doesn’t want to be rude and ask how Kate Bosworth can afford this (“My family is rich”).
There’s something else about the house. Because it’s in such a rural area sometimes the electricity cuts out and envelops in in a black, unseeing atmosphere or a synonym for that.
Kate asks Hap if he wants to come in. Hap asks if she’s sure. Kate says something to the effect that she asks for what she wants and that she never lies. Hap has to adjust his pants.
They go inside. Sure enough the electricity cuts out and there’s so much absence of light or a synonym for that. Luckily Kate Bosworth has a f*ckload of candles.
Kate offers drinks. Hap says yes. Kate leaves for the kitchen.
Hap gets a call from a coworker who was also at the bar and got a look at Kate Bosworth. They engage in locker room talk that would get them reported to HR if they were on the clock.
Kate comes in with the drinks and asks who Hap was talking to. After much verbal jumbling and equivocating Hap tells Kate it was a coworker. He’s not technically lying, but he’s not telling the entire truth (“I’m a fibber”).
Kate and Hap drink.
And they talk.
Then they talk some more
Then they talk again.
Then they talk some more except writer/director Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty, Your Friends and Neighbors and other art house movies you’ve lied about seeing) flips the camera so we’re seeing from another side of the room. But it’s still without power and shadowy and a synonym of that.
Then they start making out.
Except Hap and Kate Bosworth are not alone. At it must be really f*cking murky or a synonym for that because Hap has been blind to ALL the red flags. Or has never seen a movie.
What Works With House of Darkness.
- Writer/director Neil LaBute made his film debut with one of 1997’s best movies In The Company of Men and at his best explores sexual politics with no fear of offending or any fear of a halfway palatable running time. Since Darkness is about 95% dialogue, you do get some compelling verbal exchanges between the cast. The actors look like they’re enjoying themselves spouting juicy dialogue. Who cares that the rest of us are bored because we were promised a horror movie.
- Gia Crovatin as _____ (character name withheld because it’s a spoiler, which is a really stupid spoiler) gets the film’s best monologue. It’s one of the few times in the movie you’re enthralled by the performance instead of looking at your watch/counter.
What Doesn’t Work With House of Darkness.
- If I wanted to listen to white people drone aimlessly on for 90 minutes I’d listen to a podcast. As I said before, LaBute gives us swatches of memorable dialogue but if you’re looking to be scared just watch Barbarian again.
- Since you can see everything everywhere all at once coming from the opening credits, the first two acts have to hold your attention. It’s labeled a “horror” movie, but if you can spot a scene where you’re actually scared, you will get Justin Long to star in your horror movie provided he becomes a walrus.
If you don’t walk out of this House of Darkness after the first act, you might find the movie bearable. But if you’re looking to be scared, this House is unclean. At least it’s the second best Kate Bosworth/Justin Long horror movie to come out in September.
Buy Or Rent Or Adopt House of Darkness Here!
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Noel Penaflor