Details: (M), 82 mins, Australia, English
Synopsis: After being seduced by the mysterious and beautiful Anna (Emma Lung), university student Julian (Chris Egan) finds his life unravelling in a series of increasingly strange and dangerous events as her infatuation turns deadly.
House of horrors offers few shocks, let alone surprises.
“Nothing will come between us, OK?” University student Clare (Brooke Harman) tells her American boyfriend Julian (Chris Egan) in the opening minutes of this Australian supernatural thriller/horror movie.
Not a bad tactic, I suppose, to telegraph to the audience that something will come between the young lovers, and it won’t be good. Alas, the threat they face, in the bikini-clad form of the sexy, mysterious Anna (Emma Lung), is pure and utter hogwash.
This tale of fatal attraction from first-time writer-director John V. Soto and director Jeff Gerritsen suffers from numerous plot holes, weak characterizations, inane dialogue and a woeful lack of tension.
Julian is studying architecture at uni and training for a tae-kwon do final. He’s asked to house-sit at a Perth mansion for three months while the owners are abroad. There he meets Anna, whom he assumes is the owner’s niece. She tells him she got kicked out of uni for being a naughty girl and asks if he’s ever been naughty. “I’ve had my moments,” he replies blandly.
Despite professing his love for Clare, Julian is soon bonking Anna, although he knows almost nothing about her. When Julian decides he’d rather stick with Clare, Anna vents her wrath as the woman scorned.
There are dreadful lapses in logic, such as Julian becoming so distracted he forgets about the tae-kwon do final he’s been training for, and the house turning into a fortress. The directors try to sex up the plot with flashes of dreams or nightmares, which only render the film even less coherent.
They throw in a bunch of tunes by the likes of Silverchair, Papa Roach, Little Birdy, Codrazine and Something for Kate, which may be hip for teens and young adults, but don’t advance the story.
Egan, formerly a regular on Home and Away and now starring in the US TV series Kings, has a pleasant face but lacks the presence to be a compelling leading man, especially saddled with a one-dimensional character. It’s hard to judge Ms Lung’s performance as Anna turns into a figure who’s supposed to be terrifying and succeeds merely in being absurd.
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