Anthology films seem to be hot right now, and you can't throw a blood covered brick without hitting one. The producers of the Perfect House make an attempt at a twist on the norm with their sort of anthology film, centered around a certain suburban house. It seems to be a normal, everyday family home, but inside lurk a lot of dark secrets.
Marisol and Mike (Andrea Vahl and William A. Robertson) are a young couple on the hunt for their first home. They have their eye on a cute little house in a nice neighborhood and pay a visit. Greeted by the oversexed realtor (Monique Parent), they walk through the house. It seems normal, until they come to the basement. Once there, they experience visions of all the horrible things that have happened in the house over the years.
There are three stories that are told. The first concerns a family seeking shelter in the basement during a storm. The mother (Kris Smith) is angry and bitter. She believes that her husband (Timothy Dugan) has been molesting their daughter (Alex Markousis), and instead of angry, she's jealous. This is by far the best segment. It's stylish and moody, with a number of twists and turns. Good performances, too.
The next segment involves a serial killer (Jonathan Tiersten), who keeps a young girl caged up for years in the basement and makes her watch as he brings another victim in every week to kill. This segment is a little overwritten and the dialogue is a bit clunky, but there are some great practical effects, and the dental prosthetics are outstanding.
The third segment, which is told in two sections, at the beginning and the end, is about a man driven to the brink by his annoying neighbors. He invites them over for dinner one day. Mom and dad (Felissa Rose and John Philbin) are a bit reluctant, but end up accepting the invitation, to their eventual woe. There's something about a weed whacker that hasn't been returned, and a host of other petty annoyances. This may be the most disturbing of the three segments. Solid performances, and buckets of WTF moments. They don't shy away from creepy material here, and it amps up the squirm factor considerably.
The Perfect House is not a film without flaws. The middle segment particularly didn't flow very well, though there were effective moments. There are also a few less than stellar performances. The film is hit and miss. There is a lot of really inventive FX, and a willingness to get very weird, which generates a surreal, gonzo atmosphere at times. Overall, though, the film works, and horror fans will have a good experience. Recommended.
The image is 1.78:1 widescreen, and looks fairly good. The colors are pale and washed out, but this adds to the odd feeling. It's clearly a low budget film, but there's nothing here that seriously detracts from the experience.
Audio is Dolby digital 2 channel, and sounds decent. There's a bit of an echo at times, but the dialogue is always audible and no hiss or other problem can be heard. No subtitles or alternate audio tracks are included.
There are a lot of extras included, and the producers did not always choose wisely when deciding what went in and what should have been left out. There were several featurettes about the promotion of the film, which was the first film to ever premiere on Facebook. There is some interesting material here, but the segments went on for perhaps a bit too long.
The spec trailer was interesting, as were the behind the scenes segments that included short interviews with several of the actors and crew. However, the Q&A Highlight Reel was far too long, over 100 minutes, and had very muffled and hard to hear dialogue.
They would have been better served to include a commentary, and toss out a lot of the material they used.
The Perfect House has its flaws, but it also has a great sense of verve and exuberance, which goes a very long way with low budget horror films. There's enough cool stuff here that genre fans should be happy. Check it out.