War is hell, but there is no hell quite like makeup and F/X wizard-turned-director Paul Hyett’s The Seasoning House, due out on DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go U.S.A. on Dec. 3.
Noted for his excellent work on such films as The Descent, Attack the Block and the cable series, Da Vinci's Demons, Hyett’s makes his debut film behind the camera with The Seasoning House and it is nothing short of a stunner … a horror tale that is difficult to watch and absorb even for the most hardcore of genre fans.
Why? The answer is simple, because the events that unfold in The Seasoning House could be real (probably happening right now somewhere in the world as this is being written). There are no monsters; no zombies; no creatures from the bowels of the earth in this one, just human beings doing unspeakable things to other human begins.
Somewhere — out of time and place — in war torn Bosnia is a whorehouse run by a man named Viktor (Kevin Howarth — Summer Scars, The Last Horror Movie, Razor Blade Smile, Etc.), a truly despicable individual whose “girls” are the spoils of war. They are disposable young woman, beaten, drugged and raped repeatedly by the very soldiers that raided their towns and villages. They are the unlucky ones … they survived the attacks, only to end up in hell.
The latest “recruit” to this illicit pleasure palace is Angel (Rosie Day — Homefront, Harley Street, Trust, Bernard’s Watch, etc.), malnourished and deaf, she becomes Viktor’s “assistant,” rather than just another one of the short-term pleasure girls (drugs and beatings do tend take a toll). Her job is to clean up the mess that the brothel’s clientele leave behind — mend their wounds, wipe away the blood and then administer the morphine to keep them quiet and compliant for the next round of customers.
During the quite moments, and this is where it gets even creepier, Angels worms her way through the crawl spaces and openings in the walls and ceilings of the old building. She spies on the soldiers as they come and go and makes her plans for an escape.
One day another newcomer arrives, Vanya (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), and Angel befriends her when she discovers that they can communicate with sign language. What makes this turn of events even more compelling is that the friendship between Angel and Vanya makes Angel vulnerable to what she sees around her, especially when her friend is brutalized before her eyes … not by just anyone, but the very man who murdered Angel’s mother, Goran (Sean Pertwee — Dog Soldiers, Mutant Chronicles).
Escape plans turn into thoughts of revenge in the final act as Angel becomes the very thing that she sought to escape … brutal, unfeeling and capable of unspeakable things. Hide your eyes, The Seasoning House is not an easy one to take.
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