11 July 2016
I went into Girl House with a slight sense of apprehension. The slasher genre is my absolute favorite horror sub genre, but the last few newer slasher movies I’ve watched left me bitterly disappointed in their lack of scares, blood, and actual slashing. Thankfully, I was surprised by this hidden gem from 2014 and its adherence to the genre I love so much.
 
The concept behind Girl House is rather unique. A college student, Kylie (Ali Cobrin), is recruited by a porn king to live in his ‘Girl House’. It’s a secluded mansion protected by firewalls and bouncers alike, where several beautiful young women live their lives on camera for men all over the world. The women strip, tease, dance, have sex, any anything else they can think of to get more clicks, all to the delight of their online fanbase. It’s not just sex they’re selling in the house, though. By living out their daily routines in front of the world, their viewers get a sense that they’re active participants in the women’s lives. Nudity and sex are one thing, but the personal connection is what keeps viewers coming back.

girlhouse screenshot 1a
 
Unlike the rest of her new roommates, Kylie is sweet, a little on the innocent side, and has no hint of the competitive bitchiness that runs rampant in the house. This wins Kylie a legion of followers, including the obsessive and slightly deranged Loverboy (Slaine). It’s Loverboy’s infatuation with the new girl that leads the ladies of Girl House to their untimely, and often brutal, end. Masked, angry, demented, and obsessed, Loverboy tracks down the hidden Girl House mansion and violence quickly follows. Bloody, violent, and downright savage, the women are outmatched by the hulking stalker and taken out one by one while men around the globe watch from their computers. While the legion of viewers should mean a quick intervention from the local police department, the fact that Girl House is so well hidden prevents anyone from helping the girls as they fall prey to Loveryboy’s rage.
 
 
girlhouse screenshot 2a
 
 
It’s an interesting concept and easily apparent that the writer (Nick Gordon) and directors (Jon Knautz & Trevor Matthews) have seen their fair share of slasher flicks. Girl House hits all the right slasher movie beats from the first kill to the final girl. Like The House on Sorority Row and Black Christmas before it, the movie reminds us that even in a seemingly safe house full of women, death could be just around the corner.
 
Surprisingly enjoyable and fun, Girl House is a hidden gem of the modern slasher era. While never all that scary, it’s a fun ride and Kylie makes for a likeable final girl that you can’t help but root for. For a movie set at a glorified porn studio, the nudity never feels forced, out of place, or ridiculous. Even the elements of gore aren’t overdone or gratuitous. It all makes sense for the film it’s in. The characters are well flushed out and the killer’s motivation is fairly sound. Overall, a fun popcorn slasher flick for a Saturday night in that I’ll definitely be watching again.

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Laura Laidman

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