Main cast: Jamie Anne Allman (Scarlet), William Lee Scott (Chad), Kelly Hu (Lilith), Nick Heyman (Alal), and Steven Weber (Samael)
Director: George Bessudo
Farm House has a very simple story: Scarlet and Chad are looking for a change of scenery and a new start after the death of their baby. On their drive to Seattle, Chad refuses to take a rest despite Scarlet’s repeated urging, and ends up falling asleep on the wheel. Oops. Fortunately, they manage to survive the resulting accident, and eventually they stagger to an isolated farm house owned by Samael and his wife Lilith. At first Sam and his wife seem like kindly folks who are happy to take them in, but it soon becomes apparent that Sam and Lilith are more than they seem to be at first. The fact they want to torture and kill Chad and Scarlet is a dead giveaway.
This movie boasts a competent cast and, for the most part, it is a pretty decent horror flick. The best parts of this movie, however, are the final fifteen minutes or so of the flick. Up to that point, the movie seems to be just another meandering “killer rednecks in the countryside” movie, although the small cast means that the extent of the scares is reliant on the atmosphere and build up instead of outright gore. However, the “twist” in the last half hour or so is given away from the start with the Biblical names of the secondary characters in this movie. Samael, Lilith, Alal… come on, how about a little subtlety?
The heavy anvils end up making this movie far less surprising than it intends to be. The cliffhanger ending is actually pretty good because it allows for two different interpretations – redemption or condemnation – but the last fifteen minutes or so feel disconnected from the movie up to that that. For a bulk of the movie, it resembles a standard The Twilight Zone episode with a bit more scary stuff than usual, while the last fifteen minutes is more of something M Night Shyamalan would do. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that these moments feel like they are scenes from another movie plastered in. There are flashbacks that hint that this twist earlier in the movie, but these flashbacks aren’t well presented enough to allow me to draw a clear idea of what is happening there. Perhaps this is a ploy to get me to watch the movie again and go, “A-ha! Now I see! How profound!” but sorry, this movie isn’t that compelling enough to get me to do this.
There is some potential in Farm House, but the heavy-handed script doesn’t do it any favors. Most of the film feel like filler for the last act, and it is pretty easy to lose interest before that last act is reached.