directed by Charlie Steeds
runtime: 117 mins
The works of Charlie Steeds are multilayered juggling acts. With The House of Violent Desire, those balls and bowling pins are actually chainsaws that have been set aflame.
Servant Cordetta Crimson Rose comes to live at the Whipley family estate, Black Rock Manor. After a brief introduction of all the star players, a year passes. Daughter of the manor Evelyn wakes up bound and screaming and covered in blood, and Hagan, the patriarch, has gone missing. To make matters worse, a mysterious visitor arrives, and someone or something is up to something sinister in the attic.
I found The House of Violent Desire gripping from start to finish. Every family has its secrets. The secrets of the Whipley family are like the segments of a filthy centipede—each leading into the next, with each reveal affecting the whole insect. This dysfunctional family is defined by their infinite perversions and violent depravity (In other words, they’re a hot mess).
As the aptly titled gothic tale unfolds, the acting is enjoyable and big like a stage play, with the exception of the restrained brilliance of Rowena Bentley as the cruel Lady Whipley and Carl Andersson as The Visitor. Well executed dutch angles and splashes of Suspiria-inspired color further the macabre drama in a way that feels like a journey through a haunted house.
Do you like Eyes Wide Shut but hate Tom Cruise? Do you like Downton Abbey but prefer shanking over biscuits? If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, we can be friends. But also, you should check out this sweet biz from Dark Temple Motion Pictures (available on VOD now).
At nearly two hours long, it might test the patience of some viewers, but THoVD is basically an entire TV serial smushed into a single film which is a feat worth applauding if you ask me. The viewer may also question why the characters just never leave the house (I sure did) but it’s as if these characters are moths hypnotized by the very thing that endangers them.
Charlie Steeds is an auteur in the making and if you’d like to watch this sick sweetheart blossom, prep your peepers and indulge with me. Then go ahead and check out his previous film Escape from Cannibal Farm
Stay slime, and be rad at all times!