Horror films are full of tropes and cliches that ring true in generic films. Although not a bad thing in some, it is tough to overcome some of the stereotypes we love to find. From characters to situations to even particular lines spoken by the characters, horror tropes exist and sometimes we have to deal with them. As a director or writer, it is your job to takes these tropes and turn them into something else. The House on WillowStreet, the latest film from director, writer, producer, and editor Alastair Orr, may be littered with these recognizable elements but it is the step after that is the real doozy.
House on Willow Street is best if we do not spoil the story so we will tell you it is about 4 kidnappers who find the one girl with a terrible secret. The reason for the non-spoiler is the surprises are best left to the film. In all honest a lot happens in this movie and putting it here would spoil the fun.
The true shining star in House on Willow Street is the performance by Carlyn Burchell. She is both creepy and sincere while holding the entire film on her back. She helps create the fun atmosphere and the uncertainty needed to keep attention. Another great performance from Sharni Vinson who we know as the bad-ass Erin from You’re Next. Her portrayal of the guilt filled past Hazel creates another bad-ass as the lead of the film
Another stand out is the location choices. The film takes place in two main locations, the house and a warehouse. The warehouse was beautifully terrifying while the house was laid out in such a way that felt like a haunted maze. Both locations help tell the story and push it along while creating a great frame to look at.
House on Willow Street may not be a genre changer but overall it is a fun flick filled with your favorite stereotypes and taking them one step further. Great locations, two awesome performances, and a good handful of scares allow this film to be a good time.
House on Willow Street is in select theaters and VOD now from IFC Midnight
If you want a bit of spoilers, check the trailer below.