In The House of Flies

In The House of Flies

In The House of Flies

directed by Gabriel Carrer

starring Ryan Kotack, Lindsay Smith, Henry Rollins

Black Fawn Distribution

Heather (Lindsay Smith) and Steve (Ryan Kotack) are a cute couple. He’s twenty-something, she’s bit pregnant, but they seem stable and entry-level middle class. But bad things happen to good people and they end up imprisoned in a basement with no food, no water, a dial telephone and a bunch of locked suitcases. Who did this to them? The Voice (Henry Rollins). Why? Because. He calls them every day to torture them; if he can get them to do horrid things like eat a rat or punch each other in the gut he lets them unlock a suitcase for another useless prize. Once that’s a gun and a bullet: will they commit suicide? Or shoot the lock off a suitcase? They don’t seem able to decide. Will The Voice show his face? Can’t the use the dial phone to call 911? Oh, yeah. Reasons. You know.

While I can say I enjoyed this psychological thriller, it was intense and the torture kept me engaged for nearly the full 90 minutes. Kotack seemed honorable and principled and willing to sacrifice himself for his wife, but in the time he took to punch through a concrete wall with the butt of the gun he could have punched the lock off a suitcase. Both Smith and Kotack are believable and well-cast for their roles, and you are pulling for them throughout their ordeal. Still, the movie is more interesting visually and as a story, there are long periods of little happening; this gives us a sense of their stasis in the cellar, but it also prolongs our agony. Henry Rollins is dry and computer-like as he issues horrific commands to the couple, there no clue as to his motivation other than sheer psycho meanness.

An extensive 45 minute “Making of” accompanies this film; it’s a good primer for the budding film maker on set design, lighting, post-processing and makeup. I won’t say it’s more interesting than the film itself, but this sort of horror bothers me more than it entertains me, and it was nice to slide behind the camera and hang with the crew. They all seem very professional and destined to great careers. This is a tense, brutal film that exploits our inner fears more than visual crossness for effect. Moral? Stay out of creepy guys basements.

www.gabrielcarrer.com; blackfawndistribution.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

From the Archives