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BLACK HOUSE ($25) is a slow, deliberate psychological horror from Korea that turns darker and surprisingly more disturbing (not to mention gory) as it reaches its climax. The plot of BLACK HOUSE follows a relatively new insurance agent, who is assigned to examine potentially fraudulent claims. When our insurance agent is unexpectedly called to the home of an insured to discuss a policy, he is horrified to discover, a young boy hanging in his bedroom- the victim of an apparent suicide. The boy’s stepfather immediately puts in a claim on the insurance policy, which rouses the suspicion of insurance agent, but not the police, who write off the boy’s death as a suicide. When the insurance agent begins his own investigation, it turns up some shocking facts that ultimately lead to grisly deaths, mutilation and other forms mayhem.

Genius Products has made BLACK HOUSE available on DVD in an approximately 2:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. BLACK HOUSE doesn’t look like an American movie; it comes across as slightly softer and a little less polished- perhaps that is intentional. However, the image doesn’t seem deficient in any way. Colors have a slightly sickly cast, which help create the mood for the film. Black, whites and contrast are sufficient to the task. The film elements are clean, but there is a bit of grain. Digital compression artifacts are not a problem.

The Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack gets the job done. BLACK HOUSE is rather talky, but there are some channel separations for important sound effects. There are atmospheric qualities to the soundtrack and the music creates the right tone for the onscreen action. English subtitles are present on the DVD.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. The Truth About Psychopaths: The Making Of Black House offers a twenty-minute look behind-the-scenes. Secret Of Black House: Production Design Featurette is brief and fairly self-explanatory. A series of Deleted Scenes close out the DVD’s extras.

BLACK HOUSE won’t be to every taste, but it was interesting to see foreign conventions applied to familiar horror material. Personally, I liked the slow build to the gore.



Black House (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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