Originally published in 1981, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark started a franchise. Aside from the self-titled movies or television shows it spawned, since the time of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, there have also been several other movies that have used a similar concept. That in mind, House of Darkness offers you a new kind of story. Released on September 13th 2022 via Saban Films and directed by Neil LaBute (The Wicker Man 2006, Death at a Funeral 2010), it is a bit of a Dark Comedy that is all so interesting.
Just like a really good book, House of Darkness begins with big bold letters “Once Upon a Time…,” which usually entails that the story itself is going to be a good one. The opening scene then begins with a man and woman sitting in a parked car outside the woman’s house. Hap (Justin Long: Jeepers Creepers 2001, Drag Me To Hell 2009) has just picked up the lovely Mina (Kate Bosworth: Blue Crush 2002, Straw Dogs 2011) from a local bar. Unlike your typical ‘lets go to your place and get it on,’ Hap and Mina decide to get to know each other a little better before ‘getting it on.’ After a bit of a long conversation, Mina invites Hap into her house and offers him a drink. However, Hap soon realizes he may have picked up more than what he bargained for.
Now you must be warned that House of Darkness is heavily revolved around dialogue, but it is not exactly your boring kind of dialogue. Granted, not too many viewers enjoy sitting through a dialogue filled movie, there are those that find these kinds of stories exceptionally good. With this being said, after the drinks, things heat up a bit between our two characters. Then just as things get started, Mina’s sister Lucy (Gia Crovatin: The Depths 2017, I Feel Pretty 2018) sneaks in… and this is where things become tricky.
As Mina leaves the room to get some more drinks Lucy chats with Hap for a bit before going to check on her sister…. and this is where things get a bit strange. Soon after Lucy offers Hap a tour of the mansion that the beautiful sisters reside in. While on this tour Lucy brings up the idea of telling ghost stories. A turning point, this is where things really heat up as Lucy tells an extremely dark ghost story.
As mentioned this is a Dark Comedy, but it is also a seductive Thriller. In all, it has everything – lighting, minimal music, and great acting. From the use of candlelight and the fireplace flickering, to the rather lack of music to make for intense vibes, to the acting, it is great on all ends. Speaking of the cast, Long’s character is perfectly portrayed as a normal player trying hard to get lucky. Meanwhile, Bosworths’ and Crovatins’ characters are stunning, mysterious and very ominous. The characters also meshed well together, in fact, they all seemed to compliment one another.
House of Darkness may not exactly be everyone’s cup of team, but for those that like really dark and mysterious dialogue filled films, it is very intriguing. Keeping your attention all the way to the end, Cryptic Rock gives House of Darkness 5 out of 5 stars.