HOUSESITTERS *** USA 2018 Dir: Jason Coffman 63 mins
This 80’s style horror comedy starts with a video of some friends advertising themselves as housesitters. Their first gig lands them in a plush house with a vast wardrobe of garish wares to prance around in and the use of a platinum credit card to order as much food as they want. Best friends Izzy (Jamie Jirak) and Angie (Annie Watkins) waste no time in inviting others over, namely Izzy’s boyfriend Zak (Peter Ash) and Angie’s crush Mark (Ben Schlotfelt) to indulge in their fave past time of smoking weed and watching vintage porn.
Eventually when the fog lifts they realise all is not as it seems. The blood stained pentagram in the floor in the basement was their first clue, their second was finding a tiny but ferocious monster called “Little Bastard” picking off their friends one by one and finally they find a letter from the homeowner where the full extent of their predicament is realized, oh and the huge void of nothingness outside the front door also means there is no escape. At only an hour long this highly enjoyable movie is split into 2 parts with a really weird midway cartoon break that will make you wonder if you have actually unwittingly ingested magic mushrooms. The whole movie is campy, crude, childish and really bloody hilarious actually. It appeals to my sense of humour. It has a little bit of everything, sex, violence, drug use, demons, zombies and teeny weeny monsters! The set is pretty simple basing itself in a couple of different houses but that’s about it. It looks and feels incredibly low budget which shows most in the FX but they are all practical with the use of puppets too which adds to the brilliant 80’s B movie feel and if they were more refined it probably wouldn’t be as funny. Watkins and Jirak are a fantastic double act and genuinely made me laugh out loud, if it wasn’t for them I doubt the movie would’ve been half as amusing as it was. It was refreshing to see these female characters at the forefront, fulfilling roles mainly left to dumb jock types but they managed to bring so much more to it and they played their characters so confidently both actresses are credited as writers due to their improvisation. Some of the other cast members are a bit awkward but again it adds to the comedy value. The soundtrack, especially the montage is lively and fun. I found the ending to be a bit of an anti climax but still kind of unexpected none the less. On the whole I thought this was weird but loads of fun.
Review by Sarah Budd