Four devastating Seasons in one House…
Somewhere in the Balkans, an illegal brothel becomes the sinister new home for the recently abducted deaf-mute Angel. The abuse and rape the young female inhabitants have to endure from the visiting military misfits, goes from bad to worse. When her best friend Vanya gets fatally brutalized, Angel has nothing but vengeance left on her mind.
Only with a mere glance at the synopsis, ‘The Seasoning House’ looks like a variation on the ‘rape-and-revenge’ sub genre, bringing to mind obvious titles like ‘I Spit on your Grave‘ (1978) and ‘Last House on the Left’ (1972). These are seldom cheerful films, of course, given the harsh and exploitative subject matter, but ‘The Seasoning House’ is more intense, devastating and tragic than any other thriller of its kind. It feels like somewhat of a feminist horror/rape-and-revenge flick, but one set against the background of the ravaging civil war in the Balkans during the mid-1990s. Not only does the menace of an inhumanly cruel and cold war feels incredibly authentic, the story also introduces young girls as defenseless victims of a depraved and heartless prostitution network.
When the rest of her family is brutally massacred by soldiers, deaf-mute teenage Angel (Rosie Day) ends up in an illegal sort of brothel run by the sadist Viktor (Kevin Howarth) in the middle of the woods. The squadron that killed her mother and sister passes by the house one day, so she sees her chance for retaliation. Making use of the crawlspaces and the ventilation circuit throughout the old house, Angel battles against the relentless commander Goran (Sean Pertwee) and his team of perverted soldiers.
‘The Seasoning House’ truly hits you like an emotional sledgehammer, with a few cruel execution sequences, a thorough raw atmosphere and deeply depressing cinematography and music. The acting performances are extraordinary, particularly those of adolescent starlets Rosie Day and Dominique Provost-Chalkley (as Vanya). Also giving another superb (and very ungrateful) performance is British cult-actor Sean Pertwee as the stone-cold and heartless military commander Goran. A very strong and remarkable debut for special effects wizard Paul Hyett. Recommended, but definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Running time: 90 mins
Audio: English, Dolby Digital 5.1
Aspect ratio: 16/9 (2.35:1)
Trailers for ‘The 25th Reich’ (2012), ‘Midnight Son’ (2011), ‘The Ghostmaker’ (2012)
Available to order on DVD through Zeno Pictures.
Trailer on YouTube.