Monday, April 6, 2015

At the House of Madness (2008)

Sarah is discouraged that they're unable to sell their house and believes it is because the home is cursed. Her husband is having none of this nonsense. So Sarah begins reeling off names of all the people who lived in the home and met untimely ends.

In an abrupt switch, we find ourselves watching Tracy, a women who is either wearing a bad wig, or whose hair looks like a bad wig.  She drives to the beach,  uses a metal detector and discovers a strange book buried in the sand. I'm not sure what's more surprising  - that the clasp has a demon head on it, or that it didn't sustain any damage from the damp sand and salty ocean water.

Back at home while trying to pry the book open, Tracy sees a rat and beats it to death with a magnifying glass. Odd choice I know, but the clasp releases and Tracy is in evil heaven flipping through the pages. As the clock strikes the next hour, the book slams shut, and Tracy is back to attacking the clasp with a dull butter knife.

Since the book opened when she killed the rat, Tracy decides the best way to get the book to open  again is to start murdering people. No one shall ask why where she came up with this huge leap in logic or why she doesn't continue to murder small rodents who won't be missed.  Perhaps the fumes from her sad looking wig have rotted her brain. As you'd expect, evil books always punish those who read them.

Back to the wrap around segment of the anthology, Sarah's husband is no more convinced of the curse than before. So Sarah tells him the tale of a young woman named Izzy whose cousin lived in the house. Izzy feigned a breakup with her boyfriend and no place to stay, but in reality she plans on robbing the home.  Her cousin says he has an old ventriloquist dummy passed down though the family. Izzy decides they need to steal the dummy since it must be worth a lot of money. Izzy is not too bright.

We all know nothing good can come from a ventriloquist dummy, so there.  Sarah's husband is wondering why he married a woman who believes in curses.  Both stories make Sarah look a bit nutty  since neither story makes the house itself look bad.

I'm not a big fan of anthologies and this didn't change my mind.  The story with the book has a big chunk of time where they pad the film as Tracy wanders on the beach, walks, or tries to get the book open. There is no dialogue and the film making is not good enough to support this type of silence.

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