A brand-new vampire film with a very distinct perspective is called HOUSE OF DARKNESS. It is a slow-burning, heavily dialog-driven story that only occurs in the house stated in the title. Or technically, it does start just outside the house, but aside from that, we remain inside of this magnificent home.
Justin Long and Kate Bosworth, who both give great and enjoyable performances, are the movie's two undisputed stars. 88 minutes long, yet while being slow, it never becomes monotonous. And the conclusion is very amazing!
Kate Bosworth plays Mina (a very familiar character to fans of Dracula) and Justin Long is a man she just picked up at a bar.
He cannot believe his luck since he clearly sees Mina as a super temptress and considers himself extremely lucky. Especially when they arrive at the castle-like house, she lives in.
What makes House of Darkness so interesting, is seeing the character played by Justin Long working so hard to do and say the right thing. Or just avoiding doing the wrong thing. He is so hung up on being politically correct that he is never really honest.
Something we know for a fact from his phone conversation with the friend he left back at the bar. He is nowhere near being the good guy he tries to present. However, he wants desperately to avoid getting in trouble – while wanting desperately to get it on with Mina.
Meanwhile, Mina is being very honest. Well, at least in terms of answering the questions she is asked. She doesn’t give away any additional information willingly.
Since at least 80 percent of the House of Darkness runtime features just Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers, Drag Me to Hell) and Kate Bosworth, their chemistry is all-important to the story. Fortunately, they work extremely well together. Both in terms of their dialogue – which is both fast-paced and extremely loaded – and their physicality.
We very recently watched Kate Bosworth in a similar setup, where she was alone in a room with one other actor for the majority of the runtime. That one was titled The Immaculate Room and was very different, but also had a few similarities. She co-starred with Emile Hirsch in that film.
House of Darkness has more humor and is very much a vampire story. This alone sets it apart from The Immaculate Room. Also, from just looking at this new movie on IMDb, you’ll know that two more characters are part of the cast. They are played by Gia Crovatin (Van Helsing series) and Lucy Walters (Here Alone). They play Lucy and Nora respectively.
Watch House of Darkness in theaters or On Demand!
Neil LaBute is the writer and director of House of Darkness. And while it does feel like the perfect kind of movie to shoot during a pandemic (due to the small cast and single location), it’s also pretty perfect as a vampire story. One that slows down and shows you how someone might be lured into a very vulnerable position.
Previously, Neil LaBute has written (and sometimes directed) TV series such as Van Helsing and The I-Land. In terms of feature films, he directed and wrote the remake of The Wicker Man. The one starring Nicolas Cage from 2006. He has another movie coming out later in 2022 starring Maggie Q. An action-thriller titled Fear the Night.
While House of Darkness is a slow-burn movie, the comedy, horror, and mystery keep you on your toes. Also, the dialogue and chemistry between the leads work wonders in terms of keeping the viewer engaged.
House of Darkness is out in theaters on September 9, and On Demand on September 13, 2022.