The world is definitely in need of more intelligent horror films. The industry turns out formulaic gore and paranormal prescriptions a dime a dozen and while they’re scary, fun and I certainly enjoy them, I enjoy an smart spin on the genre even more. I welcome any psychological twist, new concept, or different through line that plays well with all the traditional scare tactics of special effects, loud noises and foreboding music. It’s nice to wince, jump and scrunch up in your seat, but if you can use your brain simultaneously, if a film can do a number on your mind at the same time its shredding your nerves, there are bonus points available.
The House on Pine Street offers up just such a film, with an interesting plot that messes with your head, while keeping your heart rate in constant flux. This nicely shot, professional appearing film which did a lot of things very well, also dragged on a bit long in places, but the end in this case, really justifies the means. We often (for no real reason) set expectations a bit lower with regard to talent or dialogue for horror flicks, but THOPS came in and set the bar a bit higher with its fuller story forcing me to expect more from the acting and script. To both its benefit and a bit to its detriment, the film was more than horror, so I initially felt there was some forced dialogue and minor acting challenges (which wouldn’t have even been an issue oddly enough, in a strict “slasher” or pure “scare” film). It (or I) found a groove and ultimately I ended up really enjoying the results. Certainly worth a watch, The House on Pine Street garners 4 out of 5 jewels in the review tiara for a bit of a switch up and a genuinely good thrill. Two more chances to see it, tonight at 10pm and March 7th at 11:59pm!