Saban Films
Reviewed for & BigAppleReviews.internet, linked from Rotten Tomatoes by Harvey Karten
Director: Neil LaBute
Screenwriter: Neil LaBute
Cast: Justin Long, Kate Bosworth
Screened at: Critics’ hyperlink, NYC, 8/27/22
Opens: September 9, 2022 in theaters

Men have taken benefit of ladies for many years. For centuries. And few male administrators know this greater than Neil LaBute. In LaBute’s “In the Company of Men,” two middle-management males toy with a deaf subordinate, a girl who feels so weak that she wears headphones, pretending to be listening to music to keep away from others’ consciousness of her situation. But issues occur throughout the sadistic sport that the boys play with the poor girl that finally leads to poetic justice to the person.

Similarly in “House of Darkness,” a person, pondering that he’s going to attain massive after he picks up a girl in a bar—or did she intentionally decide up him?–is hoist together with his personal petard. We know the place that is going however there are a couple of surprises, a few jolts to interrupt up an extended dialog that he has together with his supposed hookup, to make this a cool ghost story.

“House of Darkness” is theatrical, a narrative that would simply be carried out on an off-Broadway stage, however whose affect is just not misplaced by the film medium. The male character, Hap Jackson (Justin Long) meets Mina Murray (Kate Bosworth) in a bar anticipating to get fortunate, however the thrust of the story, so to talk, entails the halting dialog he has with the seductive Mina. There’s a category distinction between the 2. Hap works in finance and considers himself a “lower middle class public school” fellow. Mina owns a chateau which she says has been within the household for some time—fairly some time it can end up. The two sit by a fire, the room surrounded by lit candles, which turn out to be useful as a result of the sunshine ceaselessly goes out. Hap insists that he’s not married, however then reveals that he’s legally separated, which satisfies Mina who states that she had by no means walked the aisle. The dialog continues to be awkward, although they appear attracted to one another.

When Mina’s sister Lucy (Gia Crovantin) joins the couple, Hap falls right into a entice by hitting on her, which to us within the viewers may appear apropos given how Lucy appears simpler to get to know. When you add that scenario to a earlier one during which Hap is overheard speaking to a male buddy on the telephone, greater than hinting that he going to screw Mina’s brains out, you get Mina’s motivation to get again at him: a logo of poisonous masculinity. Dread builds up. A 3rd sister seems out of nowhere, the three ladies about to reverse what the boys did in “In the Company of Men.”

If you’re a person, you could be reluctant to take a brand new feminine companion. However, the concluding moments are disappointing, popping out of left area and undercutting the entire concept that solely responsible males deserve punishment or at the very least the assumption that Hap deserves what’s coming to him. The flawed ending undercuts LaBute’s popularity as a category author.

88 minutes. © 2022 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – B
Acting – B+
Technical – B
Overall – B

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