Starring: Danny Cutler, Alex Lucchesi, Alex Southern, Kate Davies-Speak
Directed by: Brini Amerigo
Written by: Andrea Cavaletto
Running Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
Reviewed by: Dan Oles
Have you ever wanted to see a cross between A Serbian Film and Dawn of the Dead? Neither did I. It pains me to give the film as a whole a bad review as the cast across the board is impressive, the effects are quite decent for a clear low budget production, and even the cinematography is notably high quality. The problem is that the uneasy alliance between constant grungy obscenity spewing psychopaths torturing a family and the sudden gear shift into science fiction you can probably already guess from the marketing and the title does not make for either an effective psychological journey or an enjoyable campy gory b-picture. If we were supposed to be invested in the unremittingly dreary nihilistic home invasion plot or the hapless victims coming to terms with their lives being turned upside down then maybe the film would have done better to focus on that rather than seemingly at random cramming in zombies. And if the zombies were the showcase for some nifty makeup effects and the thrills and spills of trying to escape the shambling undead this might have been more entertaining if we hadn’t spent half an hour watching cruel people torture other people with distressingly dramatic realism.
Dead House is two well-constructed half movies that smashed into each other and negated themselves. The home invasion bit drags on a little too long and then is overtaken by the zombie half without a smooth transition so that somehow in a short feature just over an hour it still feels like both halves take ages as well as feel incomplete. A lot of hard work went into this movie that’s plain to see and there’s some really commendable acting on the part of the primary villain especially who relishes his diabolical character. No matter how good the acting or direction the grisly images and appalling characters got repugnant after none too long and frankly the whole zombie aspect was a little half-baked and trite. I imagine some people will love the acting and special effects by themselves and take the parts as more significant than the whole, but for me at least it never quite gelled.