Monday, June 2, 2014

House of Dust DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
No one knows the real horrors that occurred 60 years ago in Redding House Asylum; all evidence was incinerated in its crematorium. But when a group of medical students break into the shuttered hospital, they literally stir up the ashes of the damned. For the mentally unstable new girl on campus, Emma (Inbar Lavi, Street Kings 2: Motor City, Underemployed), it will force her to the edge of sanity. For those who accidentally ingested the cremains of in infamous serial killer, their nightmare of madness and murder has just begun. Steven Grayhm (Journey to the Center of the Earth), Eddie Hassell (TV’s Devious Maids), Holland Roden (TV’s Teen Wolf), Joy Lauren (TV’s Desperate Housewives) and Stephen Spinella (TV’s 24) co-star in this chilling possession shocker inspired by true events.

Film (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Whenever I watch a movie that is “inspired by true events,” as soon as it’s over, I look up those “true events.” This was no different. And I was really disappointed that the “inspired by true events” portion was an article about the forgotten cremains of mentally ill people in Oregon.

Emma arrives on the campus of Camden College and tries to adjust to life with her roommate Abby. After meeting some of Abby’s friends, Emma settles in and begins her new life. At a party, Emma is drawn to the old Asylum on campus, but before she can enter, she is stopped by campus security. Her new friends come to her rescue and sneak into the Asylum. Once inside, the Emma is separated from the group and finds the records room. Her friends wander into another room and begin exploring. After discovering that the big oven is actually a crematorium, they look around and find the canned remains of past inmates of the asylum.

After leaving the asylum, Emma begins having hallucinations. Thinking it’s her mind, she hides her secret. But the others are also changing and they can’t figure out why. When the girls down the hall begin disappearing, Emma finds evidence that something may have happened to the girls and that her friends might be involved and runs back to the asylum to find more information in the records room.

I wanted House of Dust to be much scarier than it was. I was hoping for a true horror movie and while the story was interesting, and the acting adequate, the execution of the story was not the best. I imagined more people dying, more gore… more horror. What it turned out to be was a hybrid of a true horror movie and a psychological thriller that just didn’t leave me satisfied.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
The anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 presentation of House of Dust was average. Much of it takes place in the dark or at night and at times it was too dark and difficult to see some of the background. Colors were muted appropriately and bright where needed and the picture was clear.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
House of Dust is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 with English SDH and Spanish subtitles available. The sound was clear, but at times it varied from just right to too low. When the sound was just right, the dialogue was clear and intelligible. The story flowed and there weren’t many awkward parts where the dialogue didn’t fit what I was seeing on screen.
Extras (0 out of 5 stars)
There are no special features on the DVD.
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
House of Dust was a good story. It being “inspired by true events” was a bit of a letdown, but it held my attention and I didn’t get bored watching it. I don’t know if it will grow on me in subsequent viewings, but I’m willing to give it a shot. It’s not a bad movie, it just could have been much better.

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