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The Ladies of the House online movie review - Your Worst Nightmare: Cannibal Strippers
A birthday outing with two brothers and a friend turns into a horrific fight for survival after they become trapped in a house with a "family" of malevolent women.
Apparently this film was birthed by a single two-word phrase: "cannibal strippers". How do you take that combination and turn it into a feature-length film? If you happen to be talented (such as these filmmakers are), it apparently comes naturally.
Add in some vibrant colors, reminiscent of "Amelie", and you have beautiful cinematography. The film's press kit says the aesthetic as inspired by the films of Douglas Sirk, though it is not obvious. We are also told it is a bit gender-bending and post-feminist, but this, too, seems questionable. Indeed, the victims here are men rather than women, but horror has had a long history of strong women and this is not outside of what we have come to expect. (This is not a criticism of the film, but rather just a question of how accurate the press kit is. Other viewers may see the gender politics differently.)
Early on we have none-too-serious acting, which fits the light-hearted nature of the first few scenes. But the movie has its dark and disturbing moments, too, that will make the viewer squirm. Some great tension, and plenty of gore. We see a wide range from the character of Kyle, who is like a man-child in the body of Tor Johnson. Is he dim-witted, a victim, naive, or something more menacing? His character is quite complex, and perhaps the most interesting.
Horror fans might see the film as Robert Rodriguez's "From Dusk Til Dawn" with just a dash of "Texas Chain Saw Massacre". But unlike the Sawyer family, this family is a bit more nonchalant about their appetites. Which completely changes the way we look at them: are they monsters if they are just acting "normal"? Or is that even more disturbing, because unlike Leatherface, they can blend in anywhere?
This is not a perfect film, but we should not expect it to be. What it is, however, is a great exposition of a simple concept ("cannibal strippers"). The acting is better than average, and the direction and camera-work are top-notch. These are people to follow. And there is enough originality here to please even the jaded horror fan. A welcome addition to the cannibal subgenre!