Title: Girl HouseDirector: Trevor Matthews
Starring: Ali Corbrin, Adam DiMarco, Slaine, Alyson Bath, Elysia Rotaru, Chasty Ballesteros, Alice Hunter, Wesley MacInnes, Erin Agostino, Nicole Arianna Fox, Zuleyka Silver, James Thomas
Plot: In need of money to pay for her college tuition Kylie (Corbrin) agrees to be a cam girl for “GirlHouse” a site which streams from a Big Brother style mansion. Things take a murderous turn however when the girls find themselves being targeted by obsessed fan Loverboy (Slaine)
Review: The debut film from director Trevor Matthews, who here attempts to update the sorority house slashers of the 80’s by giving it a dose of porno chic which would be great if this wasn’t at the same time another vanilla horror movie and in doing so essentially shoots its concept in the foot from the beginning despite seemingly aiming to give us a sexed up version of “Halloween Resurrection”.
Opening to our killer Loverboy as a pudgy child being taunted into showing his penis to a couple of girls who soon drive him into his first murderous rage by making fun of him with him getting his revenge on one of the girls coming soon after. For a first murder its surprisingly well thought out with Loverboy (we never do find out his real name) first knocking the ring leader off her bike and then making it look like she accidently fall off the bridge. Flash forward several years later and Loverboy has only gotten worse with his insecurities and arguably more pudgy than he was as a child, while working as an IT technician obsessed with cam girls in particular the girls of “GirlHouse” while hanging out in his basement with his real life sex doll. Its an interesting attempt to explain why our killer is the way he is and also helps justify the catalyst for his murderous rampage when he believes the girls are also mocking him.
Our lead girl Kylie is unsurprisingly the homely girl who cares only about helping her mother (I love the fact that she appears to have been adopted by Asian parents) pay the bills and fund her studies and see’s being a Cam girl as the way to do it. Now no doubt you’ve been drawn in by the who Cam girl angle expecting this to be an onslaught of boobs and softcore sex but outside of a couple of the cast this movie is surprisingly light on both with the setting essentially being more of a hook here to what is a pretty generic slasher movie and for the first hour nothing really happens apart from some slap and tickle teasing for the audience and Kylie getting involved with the harmless Ben (DiMarco) who of course only now notices Kylie now she’s a cam girl despite claiming of being enamoured with her as a child, it still comes off as an unbelievable relationship especially when he is shown as more of the friend than a boyfriend let alone the fact he has no qualms about her making money as a cam girl. A fact made only the more suprising when the film opens up to that famous quote from Ted Bundy on death row, were he blamed pornography as the trigger for his crimes, you’d expect to see him trying to save her from this life. That being said the film can never seem to decide where it stands on this issue, seeing how it glorifies the lifestyle of the girls working on the site, yet seems to be implying that Loverboy’s actions are the result of his cam girl obsessions and not because he is a just a wackjob who had his penis laughed at as a child.
The cast are all passible enough while largely forgotable as they seem mainly to have been cast on their looks and ability to fill a criteria (blonde, lesbian Asian) than anything deeper while their characters are essentially so shallow they all end up being interchangeable slasher fodder anyway. True Corbin makes for a likable female lead if here comes off perhaps too vanilla for such a role (surprising considering her extended nude scene in “American Reunion), making her playing a cam girl as believable as Piper Perabo playing sex siren Violet in “Coyote Ugly”. Yes she is happy to take her clothes off and flash some side boob or her ass but there is never any real heat or sexiness to these scenes that you would expect from someone trying to make a living from this field.
Once we get to final half hour we finally get the promised rampage of Loverboy, the reasons for which are unclear as he shows Kylie a picture of himself and receives some nice complements from her, only for the same picture to show up on the girl’s pin board with the mocking tagline “Stud of the Year” attached to it. It’s hard to believe that Kylie did this and all the other girls speak kindly of him when his name is brought up making it only beg the question further as to who posted this? Needless to say when Loverboy see’s this he hacks the “GirlHouse” system before heading off to engage in a whole different kind of hacking. Why he chooses to use the head of his sex doll as a mask (complete with Cher fright wig) as disguise is equally unclear.
While the plot might feel like a reworking of “Halloween Resurrection” when it comes to the kills we get here you can’t help but feel that Matthews is in some way trying to remake “The Toolbox Murders” a theory only seemingly further reinforced by some of the posters which show Loverboy with a similar balaclava favouring style. Still the kills that Loverboy pulls off all revolve around what he can pull out of his toolbox it seems, with a couple of kills mixing things up as he uses things the girls have in their rooms. Interestingly though when it comes to the girls he seems more eager to maim or disfigure them than to kill them outright, with one of the girls being slashed up before being left disfigured a situation she surprisingly chooses to resolve by suffocating herself to death in a throwback to David Fincher’s pride murder in “Se7en”.
While the kills are for the most part original enough to hold your interest the characters lack the depth for you to really feel attached to any of the girls or anything that's really happening with the kills like the later "Friday the 13th" films being more of a draw here, but seeing how you have an hour of plodding plotting to get though first and despite the softcore nudity and occasional sex scene its way too drawn out to the film finding its stride to make it rewatchable even as a throwaway slasher though by the same reasons no doubt making this the new favourite of teenage boys everywhere.