A beautiful young college student needing money for tuition moves into a house that streams content to an X-rated website. One of the “devoted” fans turns psycho after he hears the girls’ true thoughts and feelings about him and invades the house with deadly results.
Director: Trevor Matthews
Writer: Nick Gordon
Stars: Ali Cobrin, Adam DiMarco and Slaine
Kylie Atkins, played by the homely Ali Corbin, needs money. Her dad recently died and her mother can’t pay the tuition fees Kylie is accumulating. To make ends meet Kylie sees no other alternative than to work for GIRLHOUSE, a supposedly untraceable, unhackable, and unintruderable house that streams, 24×7, the daily and x-rated lives of the girls living inside the walls.
The story moves quick to get Kylie to the house. After an intro hook of the antagonist, Loverboy, as a kid and his, well, “destructive tendencies”, we go straight to Kylie who has already made the decision to join Girlhouse. I must admit, I was happy to see this part handled so quickly. It sets the story briskly and doesn’t bog us down.
The writers try hard to paint Kylie in a good light despite the career she chooses. She doesn’t dress or act like a slut and is only taking the job for the money to get through college… Just like every stripper who ever stripped… Hell, they even try to make the owner of Girlhouse likeable. He’s so accommodating, I’d even let my wife work there if it were real (and no killer would go there). The girls have almost free reign; the choice of what they want to do/show and how they would do/show it. This works well for Kylie who doesn’t want to have sex with “Johns” but only wants to flash her cha chas to the webcam. On a side note, the writer even made the owner gay. Not sure why that was important to the script but the briefest of scenes shows this and my assumption was that the writer felt that it made him more likeable somehow. He’s only exploiting the girls for money, he doesn’t want to tap them. He’s a nice guy!
At the house we meet the other female residents/fodder and their prime customer, the now adult Loverboy (played by Slaine). He is a computer whiz (gee, I wonder why…) and likes to Photoshop images of himself with the ladies at different landmarks. Once he gets a squiz at Kylie, his wall of creepiness is quickly changed to just pictures of her and himself. Someone has a cruuush… Someone has a cruuush.
Kylie’s love interest, and ultimately a complete waste of script, Ben (played by Adam DiMarco) joins the foray as an ex schoolmate who had a long lasting crush for Kylie. The two obviously hit it off and date to the non-event of the story as a whole.
Deep into the film we are introduced to an even bigger waste of script. An ex-Girlhouse girl who sneaks into the house to join the ragtag group once more. This character’s sole purpose is to trigger Loverboy’s killing spree and move the script into Act 3. This could have VERY easily been handled by any other member of the house.
Anywho, the girls expose their true feelings for Loverboy, amazingly all in the same scene, and he doesn’t like it, especially as he thinks Kylie feels the same way too. Loverboy tools up with a handyman belt and a tool chest and heads for GIRLHOUSE with sinister plans of a sinister nature.
“But Mr. Caps, how can Loverboy go on his killing spree if the Girlhouse is untraceable, unhackable, and unintruderable?” You obviously weren’t paying attention to the review, were you? Loverboy is a computer whiz, so he can hack anything. He even has an app on his phone which allows him to control all the cameras, doors and anything else controllable at Girlhouse. And here I am unable to even get my garage door to open on the first button press of its remote…
So, by this point we are around fifty-seven minutes into the film with little suspense, thrills or kills. We’ve been treated to several scenes of Loverboy breathing hard and staring intently at either his monitor or wall of creepiness, and that’s pretty much it in terms of anything horror related. For those keeping score, we’ve only had one death thus far and that was in the intro.
Once we get to Act 3, which is almost 35 minutes worth, it’s non-stop death. Even with his overweight physique, tool belt and metal tool chest, Loverboy is one silent, Ninja-rific mofo. He can sneak into rooms unheard, stand in corners unseen and chase fit woman with ease. All of the deaths are streamed live, and once Ben’s P*rn addicted friend sees the mayhem, he immediately tells his chum who races to try and find the location of Girlhouse and save his girl.
Will Ben find the location and get there in time, or will Kylie have to use her own wits and resourcefulness to defeat Loverboy?
GIRLHOUSE is a professionally shot script. Lighting, camerawork and sound was engaging and nearly flawless. Apart from the needlessly long script, lack of thrill, suspense or kills for most of the story and a pretty basic plot line, the script was serviceable. I was never completely bored, nor was I ever completely engrossed.
Any nudity and sex was handled well by the writer. It’s not overly graphic, nor is it plentiful. There was just enough to service the world and story created. Sure, teens gaging for boob shots will get their rocks off, but this is not a titty-fest by any means.
Characters, for the most part, were fleshed out well. Kylie was solidly created in a very short time. Even the girls in the house were given distinct personalities though their sole purpose was to be sacrificed to the god of slash. In a script like this it would have been easy to stereotype the female characters, but kudos to the writer for approaching this more professionally. Ben’s character ultimately was a waste of script pages and screen time. If he was completely removed from the script, only the smallest of change to one scene would’ve been required to let it run its current course. That is the ultimate mark of an unneeded character and a pet peeve of mine.
The acting from all, regardless of their screen time, was professional and believable. Even the young actors in the intro were fantastic. I was impressed by their performances given the intense nature of the later part of the scene. Slaine’s features leant well to Loverboy. His lack of emotion (until he cracks it) was creepy and brooding and his ability to convey so much without dialog was impressive.
If I were to use one word to describe GIRLHOUSE, it would be “serviceable”. It’s nowhere near Scream in terms of story, characters and entertainment, nor is it suspenseful or thrill inducing like Halloween, the film it tries to emulate. It can’t compare in terms of kill ingenuity to the likes of the Hatchet and Friday franchises, nor is it gore-laden like them either. GIRLHOUSE is simply a serviceable effort and nothing more that will disappear into the ether with the myriad of serviceable attempts in this genre.
2.5 out of 5 webcams