When they were living in the city, the Conleys had marital problems,
mainly because Chris Conley (Christian Oliver) took to alcohol quite a bit
more than he should have, and then he would beat his wife Maggie (Rachel
Marie Lewis) - and one such incident of domestic violence caused 8 months
pregnant Maggie to lose her unborn child ...
Now everything's supposed
to be getting better though: The loss of the unborn seems to have been a
wakeup-call for Chris and he persuades Maggie to give it another try, in a
totally different enviroment - a big house in the middle of the woods,
miles and miles away from the next city, their only company being the
retired couple next door - who keep to themselves mostly.
intended trip to paradise is over pretty soon when Chris starts drinking
the very first night in the house (he doesn't turn violent though), when
he has to leave Maggie alone for days on time, claiming he's called to
wildfire after wildfire (he's a firefighter), and when he eventually
resorts to hitting Maggie again - though only once and in sort of self
defense, but harder than he ought to. At least he realizes it was a
mistake right away I suppose ...
When Chris is away, Maggie is driven
half crazy by the neighbours' ringing telephone even though there isn't
supposed to be a phoneline to the house, by her own inability to reach
Chris when he's out (no cellphone reception either), by constant reminders
of the child she lost, and by loneliness as such, which eventually
develops into paranoia. Eventually, Maggie even goes so far as to break
into her neighbours' house, only to meet Mrs Anderson (Marietta Marich)
waiting for her with a cup of tea and craving for a little bit of
diversion. Turns out that Mrs Anderson is a sweet old lady whom Maggie
soon sees as a future version of herself. It later turns out her husband
(Jordan Rhodes) is a firefighter, just like Chris, and he, too, tends to a
little bit of domestic violence when he's drunk. Furthermore, Mrs Anderson
confides in Maggie that her husband plots to kill her ...
With such a
combination, things can only end badly ...
House of Good and
Evil is an extremely likeable horror film that's old fashioned in the
best of ways: In a word, it's just creepy - it doesn't try to impress with
too-elegant-to-be-true camera pans, flashy editing, over-the-top CGI
effects or by taking us to the slaughterhouse, instead it puts its
emphasis in creating an atmosphere of unease in the most subtle of ways,
through noises, dramaturgical hints, and of course also the performance by
Rachel Marie Lewis, which the whole movie revolves around of course. And
add to this a well-structured screenplay (which might not always make 100%
sense ... but for a reason) with a kickass unexpected ending, and you've
got yourself a pretty good, pretty spooky little film.
Robots and rats,
demons and potholes, cuddly toys and shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between, Tales to Chill Your Bones to is all of that.
Tales to Chill Your Bones to -
a collection of short stories and mini-plays ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle,
all thought up by the twisted mind of screenwriter and film reviewer Michael Haberfelner.
Tales to Chill Your Bones to
the new anthology by Michael Haberfelner