Saturday, March 16, 2019

THE HOUSE (aka HUSET) 2016 DVD review

The House (aka Huset) (2016) d. Reinert Kiil (Norway) (88 min)

Set during WWII, two German soldiers, Nazi officer Kreiner (Mats Reinhardt) and German soldier Fleiss (Frederik von Lüttichau), are escorting a Norwegian prisoner (Sondre Krogtoft Larsen) back to base. But as their compass falters, maps conflict, and the sun sets in the south, it quickly becomes apparent that sinister forces are at work. With supplies running low and desperate from the cold, they stumble across an empty farmhouse near the forest. They take shelter (after replacing the Norwegian flag flying outside with the Swastika, naturally) and encounter warm stew bubbling on the stove and all creature comforts in place – but no visible inhabitants. However, there are those noises coming from upstairs, behind the door with the strange symbols….

Self-proclaimed “trash filmmaker” Reinert Kiil takes a quantum leap forward from his underground I Spit on Your Grave homage, Hora, conjuring a creepy Norwegian ghost tale (co-written with Jan Helge Lillevik) that generates a fair amount of simmering dread before succumbing to tried-and-true aural jump scares accompanying shadowy figures in the foreground/background.

Despite being shot in 12 days for a mere 60,000 Euros, The House looks and sounds fantastic, with all due credit going to cinematographer John-Erling H. Fredriksen and art director Jim-Andre Taaje. (Taaje went on to work on Kiil’s follow-up project, the holiday splatter flick Christmas Blood, as did composer Kim Berg.) The atmospheric end product is polished but derivative, traveling a lot of the same ground we’ve seen before, complete with possessed little girls and exorcism flashbacks and mysterious books and time loops where the same things keep happening over and over again. Like Christmas Blood, the film packs little in the way of lasting impact, but passes the time adequately enough for casual fright fans.


Audio commentary by director Reinert Kiil

Behind the Scenes featurette (complete with typos in the titles “hounted house,” “emty”) (7 min)

Dizzie Gizzie interview with director Reinhert Kiil (2018) (18 min)

Samvittighetens Røst (short film) (12 min)

The House is available now on DVD from Artsploitation Films and can be ordered HERE:


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