Scarehouse, The (2014)
Starring Sarah Booth, Kimberly-Sue Murray, Katherine Barrell
Directed by Gavin Michael Booth
Before I get started, let me just say right off the bat that The Scarehouse could possibly be the movie that is the perfect remedy for a film like Mean Girls, albeit on a collegiate level. Director Gavin Michael Booth takes the all-too familiar world of the snooty, rich girl sorority figure and grinds it down to a fine, bloody paste, entertaining this viewer to the core.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a guy that secretly prays for the ruination of the everyday female college student, as there are some who are enrolled in the voluminous congregation of academic universities around the globe, but you all know the type… strictly there on Mommy and Daddy’s dime, drinking themselves into an early grave, and willing to step on any other student that appears to be less than equal to them, with the residue left to be scraped off the soles of their expensive shoes. Therefore, we set up a tale of revenge that not only proves to be worthy of a few views, but one that will satiate the inner dropout in all of us – now, on to the show!
For Corey and Alaina (Booth and Murray), the past two years have been an eye-opening experience for sure. Being tossed in a women’s prison for a crime that they most certainly committed (but didn’t act alone) has rendered them damaged mentally and driven towards a measure of revenge that will be served up in a most disturbing series of ways. Their angle is to put on a Halloween-themed haunted house attraction where one side of the building is meant strictly for paying customers who are ready for a frightfully good time, and the other side is reserved for the remainder of the sorority house’s elite debutantes. While this notion of producing a full-scale haunted attraction right after serving prison time could be looked at as a leap, once the offenders are lured inside the structure and abducted, that’s when the fun really starts.
From the simplistic torture of a corset tightened around a young lady’s waist (enough to release some stomach bile) to the graphic removal of a very cheap set of breast implants, right down to quite possibly the GREATEST pillow fight ever recorded on film, the situations the society’s sisters are put through are designed to make each and every one suffer for their underhandedness. As the movie trucks along, the reasoning for the twosome’s sadistic structure of repayment is shown in a series of flashbacks that illuminates the behavior of the evil step-students, if you could describe them in such a way. The manner that Booth and Murray interact is along the lines of “bad cop, worse cop” – their conscience is pushed to the back burner as the wrongdoers are punished to extremes that will make gorehounds applaud the efforts, all the while maintaining a Hostel-type appearance.
Aside from a few off-the-map plot stretches and fizzled attempts at black comedy, The Scarehouse steps ahead of the torture-porn genre for a brief moment, seemingly before someone else decides to think-tank a new twist on this premise in the near future.