Platform: Netflix on Roku
Starring: Rosie Day, Sean Pertwee.
Anytime you see a horror movie that is set in the Balkans, your skin should immediately begin to crawl. Seems like there is some bad shit always going down in the Balkans. A place that I probably couldn't find with a map. Southeast Europe, right? Serbia, Bosnia, Romania...maybe even Turkey and Greece? So it's a large area of Europe. Just seems like a place with bad shit going down constantly. Perhaps why so may scary myths and legends arose from that region.
Then there is the name. The Seasoning House. Sounds like something you do to meat. Like tenderizing or aging. Someplace where some awful butcher or local legend madman might live. There's definitely going to be some bad shit going down in that house. Just not the kind of monsters I was expecting.
The "seasoning" in this case has to do with young women who are kidnapped and forced into the sex trade. Rough sex trade. Angel is a young deaf mute with a disfiguring birthmark on her face. Her captor decides to use her as an assistant instead of a prostitute. She prepares the girls and rooms each day by fixing their makeup and giving them drugs. Afterwards, she cleans the girls up after most have suffered through violent rapes.
It's not a cheery kinda existence, to say the very least.
Angel even has a creepy way of keeping safe and getting around this awful place. At night, she travels through the walls and crawlspaces of the house using the floor vents if she needs to enter or quickly exit rooms. It's almost as if she becomes a living version of a ghost wandering the house from inside the walls. Quietly preparing the "meat" each day to be served by her captor's terrible clientele. So not a cheery existence.
But then a new girl arrives. Vanya, recently abducted from wherever these dudes abduct these young women from. Vanya knows sign language, so Angel befriends her as best as she is able. Until the military squad that abducted Angel and killed her family arrive one evening for a night of violent "fun" at the house. Angel witnesses one of the soldiers rape and kill Vanya, and then the revenge killings begin. Using her stealth skills and her knowledge of the crawlspaces and the walls, she eludes and kills her abductors. Eventually escaping the house with the soldiers and her captors in strong pursuit.
I'm not a fan of these type of torture porn or rape porn or revenge porn flicks. Sure, the revenge part is great. Who doesn't like a good old revenge killing on some scumbag who so clearly deserves to be dead. And these scumbags get what's coming to them. I've got not problem with that. It's all the nastiness that leads up to it. Feels too "real" to me, and like to enjoy my horror flicks. Not grimace my way through them.
It's raw and emotional and surprisingly well done. Some of the scenes are about as gruesome and disturbing as any horror film I've ever seen. You will find yourself rooting for Angel against these awful men. It's just not my particular brand of bourbon.
Verdant Dude Rating: 2.5 out of 5 pumpkin ales