Review: ‘The Seasoning House’

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A lot of Horror and cinema aficionados claim they don’t mind realistic portrayals of extreme violence as long as there is “meaning” behind it.  One movie that will test such viewers is The Seasoning House.

The Seasoning House is a British Horror film directed by Paul Hyett.  While this movie was featured on many prominent “Best Horror of 2013” lists, it is much more than just another entry in the Revenge sub-genre.

Read my review after the jump…

Official Synopsis:  ‘The Seasoning House’ is a grim and soulless place where young girls are bought and sold for men’s pleasure. Here we meet Angel (Rosie Day), a young, orphaned girl enslaved by Viktor (Kevin Howarth). Unbeknownst to her master, she moves between the walls and crawlspaces of the house – silently observing, learning and planning for her escape. When her closest confident is savagely killed, Angel can no longer contain her rage and sets out through both ingenuity and brutality to seek justice.

The Seasoning House is among the grimmest Horror offerings in existence, alarming in no small part because of its unflinching realism.  This film has vampires, but not the kind with fangs and black capes; rather, the vampires are disgusting thugs who suck life away from innocent women.  There are also walking dead, mere shells covered in blood and filth—but these are victims of war.  The Devil himself makes an appearance behind the callous eyes Viktor (Kevin Howarth) and Goran (Sean Pertwee), and in the actions of a supposedly caring doctor.

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I don’t often give content warnings when discussing Horror, but The Seasoning House contains several heart-wrenchingly graphic rape scenes.

Most films that show this level of extreme, graphic, ultra-realistic violence are accused of being shocking for the sake of being shocking.  But if ever there was an appropriate time to use these methods, it’s in illustrating the pain of the young women portrayed in The Seasoning House.  The violence is far from meaningless, speaking to the horrors of war and the savagery of human nature.  Those who might claim that the human monsters do not seem genuine should do some research into Balkan War atrocities during the mid 90’s.

Besides being violent, The Seasoning House is utterly devastating.  The sorrow conveyed is almost oppressive.  The geography is gray, grimy, and saturated with mud.  A key that promises freedom is nothing but manipulative lie.  A religious necklace has no power of protection in this hellish abyss.  One of the most difficult moments to endure, however, has no blood or violence: When no one is willing to come to the defense of a wounded girl, hearts ache with anguish.

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Rosie Day is astonishing as Angel, displaying skills and acting prowess far beyond her years.  She emotes volumes without speaking a single word.

The viewing experience may destroy you emotionally and the ending may leave you distraught, but those who brave The Seasoning House will be deeply moved.  This is not a film that can be easily forgotten.

3.5 out of 5 Skull Heads.

Directed by Paul Hyett
Produced by Michael Riley
Written by Paul Hyett
Conal Palmer
Helen Solomon
Adrian Rigelsford
Starring Rosie Day
Kevin Howarth
Sean Pertwee
Music by Paul E. Francis
Cinematography Adam Etherington
Editing by Agnieszka Liggett
Studio Sterling Pictures
Distributed by Kaleidoscope Film Distribution
British Release date
  • 23 August 2012
Running time 98 mins
Country United Kingdom
Language English
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About Saucy Josh

I write a blog for intelligent Horror movie aficionados called Blood and Guts for Grown Ups: https://bloodandgutsforgrownups.wordpress.com/ View all posts by Saucy Josh

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