The House Where Evil Dwells

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In 1840, Kyoto, Japan, a crazed samurai comes home to find another dude getting it on with his lady, and after slicing up the blinds, curtains and sushi table he goes on to slice and dice the dude, his girlfriend and himself—he was really fucking pissed off. Cut to present day where we meet Ted Fletcher (Edward Albert), his wife Laura (Susan George), their child Amy (Amy Barrett) and Ted’s best friend – Alex (Doug McClure). Ted is there to do research for some magazine (or something else that isn’t clearly defined-maybe he’s a writer? I don’t know/care) and Alex has been so kind to set the Fletcher family up in a gorgeous traditional Japanese house where the rent is cheap…because it is apparently haunted. During the first night in the house Ted sees the ghosts of the three who died in 1840, then goes on to hump the night away with Laura – in what is one of the cheesiest sex scenes I have ever seen that weren’t part of a soft core porno. The next day Ted receives a visit from a local monk warning the family of the evil that possesses the house, Ted sends him off as Laura finds an ivory statue that belonged to the two lovers from 1840. When Laura decides to keep the statue, the female ghost either possesses Laura on and off (which causes her to have an affair with Alex) or throws shit around the house (causing the parents to blame Amy). As the ghosts all continue to fuck with the Fletcher household (it seems in death they have decided to be buddies and forget that whole affair/murder/suicide thing that happened so long ago) and Laura spends all their money, Ted tries to drown Amy in soup (yes, soup…with an “awful” face in it), and the family decides to vacate the house and everything gets kinda crazy including masks that hurt people, crab infestations, that damn face that appears in Amy’s soup bowl and a monk who thinks he can rid the house of the evil spirits.

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It’s a crazy, crazy world. Just ask The Fletchers.

Overall the mood of the film is creepy and it presents a slow burn type of ghost story that would probably work better as a one-hour short film rather than a full feature length movie. If director Kevin Connor had cut out all the boring as fuck silly slow scenes and added more scenes where Susan George is taking off her clothes and/or more scenes of Amy freaking out about her haunted soup we would have had a real winner here…instead we get a ghost story that is part “Amityville”, part “They Call me Bruce?” and part Japanese tourism propaganda film-if you like any of those three things then this is the movie for you. Honestly, I kind of liked it…”like” being the KEY word here.

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Onto the gory details… well…gore doesn’t really exist in this film (which isn’t surprising considering it is a straight up ghost story) and the effects are all pretty much smoke and mirrored effects of white faced “ghosts” walking around… and other than some gigantic fucking crabs that chase Amy around while screaming at her in Japanese (yes, you read that right too), the scares are non existent as well. Ken Thorne’s score borders between amazing (the traditional Japanese themes) to outright fucking annoying (the sex scenes). It’s odd that he can create the mood of creepy atmospheric murder music one moment to schlocky made-for-tv style crap the next. I GUESS that means he knows what he is doing as a musician but damn dude, that schlocky shit is terrible!!! Either way, his music does suit the scene-I suppose…yeah, I suppose.

What more can be said?

Check out this ghost/possession/revenge film and enjoy the Sake at your own risk.

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Charlie “Tennessee Whiskey, no water, no ice!” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on March 13, 2008.

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