The Seasoning House is a British horror/thriller directed by Paul Hyett on his directional debut. It follows Angel, a young girl who is forced to work in a house that specializes in supplying kidnapped women forced into the sex trade to various military personnel. Initially planned to be put to work as an unwilling sex slave, Angel, a deaf mute with an “unattractive” birth mark on her face, instead becomes the assistant to Viktor, who runs the brothel. During the day she is given the duty of putting makeup on the kidnapped women and drugging them. After they have been violently raped by various men, Angel has the duty of cleaning them up.
At night Angel wanders the walls and crawlspaces of the house, which is when she befriends newcomer Vanya who understands sign language. The squad that brought in Angel comes for a visit. Commander Goran brings his squad into the brothel. Angel crawls through the vents from her room to Vanya’s room and sees Vanya being raped by a solider called Ivan. This is particularly cruel as Vanya had previously suffered a broken pelvis and other injuries.
Ivan kills Vanya which leads to Angel using a knife to attack and kill him. The shuffling noises inside the room alert Goran, Viktor, and the rest of the squad who come to find Ivan and Vanya dead, with Angel already gone inside a nearby vent. The rest of the men start looking for Angel. Goran sends one of his men into the vents, but Angel is able to outmanoeuvre and kill him. Viktor kills one of Goran’s men because he has secretly become attached to Angel.
Will Angel escape the house and the horrors that it contains? Check out The Seasoning House to find out.
The Seasoning House is one of those types of films that you’ll find hard to say you enjoy. It’s such a dark, raw tale based on the horrors for which mankind is capable. If you’re the type of person who has an appreciation for bleak horror movies, then look no further. I commend the film as no matter how truly awful the acts are that it displays, it’s hard to look away. Everything is executed in such a way that I found myself compelled by Angel’s plight.
Rosie Day delivers a tremendous performance as Angel. She doesn’t even say a word but she expresses the pain and devastation that she has endured extremely well. I found myself forgetting that through it all she couldn’t hear a thing. Also, I enjoyed Sean Pertwee as main antagonist Goran even if his accent is a little hit and miss. You don’t learn much about his character but it’s abundantly clear that he is an extremely cruel and cold man. Basically, you really want to see him suffer. You’ll naturally root for Angel to survive and exact revenge upon the villains.
The blood and gore effects are minimal, but The Seasoning House has a much more realistic feel because of it. Angel attacks Ivan with a knife and stabs him multiple times, including one right through his cheek. Considering the low-budget I have to say; these effects look really great. However, I can understand those that have accused the film of being rather slow paced. Also, certain characters are a little one dimensional. I understand that people like this exist, but I would rather see them represented as real people rather than mindless, brutish animals.
Overall, The Seasoning House isn’t a comfortable watch but it’s for that reason that it will stay with you. It isn’t afraid of distressing or offending you. It’s much more interested in representing real atrocities and confronting them head-on. Its sole purpose is to shock and more than likely it will succeed with ease. It’s this exact reason why the film will divide opinion. Is it being exploitative? That’s up for you to decide.
The Seasoning House
The Final Score - 8/10
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