Judge David Johnson tends to avoid houses with scary names.
There's no place like home…to die!
This Korean horror import reveals a new genre protagonist: the insurance agent.
Facts of the Case
An insurance agent (Hwang Jung-Min) is assigned to a suicide case, the hanging death of a young child. But when he meets the crackpot father, he begins to think that there might be more to this case than a simple suicide.
No, he thinks that the dad might have murdered his kid to he could land the fat, multi-million dollar insurance policy payout. So he makes it his mission to get to the bottom the scheme and ensure that zero money is dished out to a killer.
But as he digs deeper and deeper, the startling truth reveals itself and his loved ones will get sucked into the nightmare, forcing him to brave the titular "Black House" and the horrors that lie within.
On paper, a horror thriller about an inquisitive insurance agent sounds like it could be all kinds of lame, but in practice Black House works. Despite the title and the way the film's plot is marketed on the back of the disc, this is not a movie about a haunted house. It's a straightforward slasher film, with a touch of mystery and just a wee bit of torture porn tossed in for good measure.
All these aspects are effective and the result is an import shocker I won't hesitate to recommend. Let's take a closer look at these three elements:
• The Slasher
Plus, she's completely whacked. Her schemes to cash in on insurance policies often lead to disturbing visions of limb-loss…but more on that later.
• The Mystery
• The Torture Porn
Black House looks great in its 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Colors and detailing are both uniformly sharp throughout. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track (Korean) sets the ambient sound well. A good selection of extras accompanies the feature: a robust making-of documentary (subtitled), a shorter production design featurette and generous helping of deleted scenes.
Interesting, suspenseful, scary and sometimes skin-crawling, Black House is this week's Korean insurance fraud horror champ.
Not guilty. You qualify for a fixed low-interest line of home equity.
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