Directed by A.D. Calvo
Written by Alyssa Alexandria, A.D. Calvo
Starring Inbar Lavi, Steven Grayhm, Eddie Hassell
90 mins - Horror | Thriller - Release date: 20 May 2014 (DVD)
“Inspired by true events.” Pfft! That’s what they all say to sell tickets or to get the rental. For House of Dust the true events probably begin and end with a group of med students breaking into a shuttered asylum for some cheap thrills.
But a disertation on the desception of saying “inspired by true events” is probably better saved for another time. For now, we’re looking at House of Dust as a film.
Directed by A.D. Calvo, House of Dust tells the story of, as stated above, a group of med students who break into an abandonned asylum, the Redding House Asylum. During their exploration of the place, they come across the crematorium and odd jars, almost like preserving jars, full of ashes. For a group of med students, who you’d think would have some kind of smarts, they have a tough time putting together the simple equation of “crematorium” + “ashes in jars” = “cremated bodies.”
Because their logic faculties aren’t working properly they have to open the jars to get a better understanding. As a result, they inhale some of the ashes and they become possessed by a serial killer who was unceremoniously cremated in the fascility. But it’s a slow posession, one that takes them one at a time, and is most fun to watch when they’re all back home in the dorms…
Wait a second! What are med students doing living in the dorms? From my recollection, that’s more of a first and second year undergrad thing. You know, something like this classy guy:
There’s not much that’s overtly original about House of Dust. We’ve all seen possession films, we’ve all seen horror flicks with insane asylums, we’ve all seen films with serial killers. The most original aspect is the vehicle of possession, which really isn’t that believable. That being said, this Calvo flick isn’t horrible, and that’s the dilema. It’s totally watchable, the cinematography and the acting are better than the average B-movie, the story is descent, and the limited special effects are passable. But the plot is thin and the script is forced.
If I had to compare this movie to anything recent, I’d compare it to Grave Encounters 2, without the shaky-cam, found-footage style, or the reality TV trigger.
If you're an absolute horror hound, then you wouldn't be remiss in seeing House of Dust. If you don't live and breathe horror, then you might not find anything to appreciate in this movie, and you might be better served if you skip it. Even the horror hounds are going to tear this one apart like a newborn werewolf with their criticism. The strong points here are the cinematography and the cast. If you're in the mood for a good possession movie, you're better off watching Grave Encounters 2, Shocker, or even Child's Play. If you want a good movie involving devient med students, watch Flatliners with Kevin Bacon and Julia Roberts.