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House Hunting (2013)

Indie gems are still out there. And this one is excellent.

Released as The Wrong House in some regions

Two house hunting families stumble upon the perfect getaway, acres of land, deep in the forest, but when they arrive, the house refuses to let them leave.

The two families are very different. The Hays come across as white collar, the Thomson, blue. We're introduced to the Hays first, led by patriarch Charlie played by Marc Singer. It's a clever ruse, feigning the watcher into siding with the family. At no point are we given reason to 'prefer' the Hays, it's just good direction.

Don Thomson (Art LaFleur) leads the second family, and as they try to leave they stumble upon a girl with no tongue, battered and bloodied.

Marc Singer / Art LaFleur

With each family having one child, the Hays, teen Emmy, and the Thomson boy, Jason, there are seven in the house. The food cupboard is replenished mysteriously with seven cans of food daily. And everything starts to breakdown.

As time passes the Hays start falling apart as a family. There are issues below the surface. Charlie starts to become villainous. The Thomson's stick together, but there's something wrong with Jason.

Based loosely on Sartre play 'No Exit', the parallel's between the families, and the purgatory nature of the house, the truth slowly starts to come out, and the body count rises.

It's a very cleverly directed movie, with the viewer's loyalty constantly being challenged. It twists. Turns. The performances are strong. Singer and LaFleur show why they have been stalwarts in the industry for so long. The matriarchs, played by Hayley Dumond (Charmed) and Victoria Vance (Skin Crawl) give as good as they get, and the younger cast are excellent.

Rising dread gives in to horror in the last third of the movie, and the conclusion is as surprising as it is chilling.

Definitely late night viewing.

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