HOUSE OF DARKNESS is a new take on an old story. The kind that features characters known from stories with vampires or Dracula himself. A slow-burn movie that has comedy, horror, and mystery. Read our House of Darkness movie review here!

HOUSE OF DARKNESS is a new vampire movie with a very different approach. It’s slow-burn and very dialogue-heavy with a story that takes place entirely in one location: The house mentioned in the title. Or rather, it does begin just outside the house, but otherwise, we stay in this very impressive house.

The two absolute stars of the film are Justin Long and Kate Bosworth who both deliver strong and entertaining performances. The runtime is 88 minutes and while it is slow, it is never boring. And the ending is pretty damn awesome!

Continue reading our spoiler-free House of Darkness movie review below. The film is out in theaters from September 9 and On Demand beginning September 13, 2022.

Trying to play the part of a good guy

Kate Bosworth plays Mina (a very familiar character to fans of Dracula) and Justin Long is a man she just picked up at a bar.

He cannot believe his luck since he clearly sees Mina as a super temptress and considers himself extremely lucky. Especially when they arrive at the castle-like house, she lives in.

What makes House of Darkness so interesting, is seeing the character played by Justin Long working so hard to do and say the right thing. Or just avoiding doing the wrong thing. He is so hung up on being politically correct that he is never really honest.

Something we know for a fact from his phone conversation with the friend he left back at the bar. He is nowhere near being the good guy he tries to present. However, he wants desperately to avoid getting in trouble – while wanting desperately to get it on with Mina.

Meanwhile, Mina is being very honest. Well, at least in terms of answering the questions she is asked. She doesn’t give away any additional information willingly.

House of Darkness (2022) – Review

Justin Long and Kate Bosworth

Since at least 80 percent of the House of Darkness runtime features just Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers, Drag Me to Hell) and Kate Bosworth, their chemistry is all-important to the story. Fortunately, they work extremely well together. Both in terms of their dialogue – which is both fast-paced and extremely loaded – and their physicality.

We very recently watched Kate Bosworth in a similar setup, where she was alone in a room with one other actor for the majority of the runtime. That one was titled The Immaculate Room and was very different, but also had a few similarities. She co-starred with Emile Hirsch in that film.

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Our review of The Immaculate Room here >

House of Darkness has more humor and is very much a vampire story. This alone sets it apart from The Immaculate Room. Also, from just looking at this new movie on IMDb, you’ll know that two more characters are part of the cast. They are played by Gia Crovatin (Van Helsing series) and Lucy Walters (Here Alone). They play Lucy and Nora respectively.

Watch House of Darkness in theaters or On Demand!

Neil LaBute is the writer and director of House of Darkness. And while it does feel like the perfect kind of movie to shoot during a pandemic (due to the small cast and single location), it’s also pretty perfect as a vampire story. One that slows down and shows you how someone might be lured into a very vulnerable position.

Previously, Neil LaBute has written (and sometimes directed) TV series such as Van Helsing and The I-Land. In terms of feature films, he directed and wrote the remake of The Wicker Man. The one starring Nicolas Cage from 2006. He has another movie coming out later in 2022 starring Maggie Q. An action-thriller titled Fear the Night.

While House of Darkness is a slow-burn movie, the comedy, horror, and mystery keep you on your toes. Also, the dialogue and chemistry between the leads work wonders in terms of keeping the viewer engaged.

House of Darkness is out in theaters on September 9, and On Demand on September 13, 2022.

Details

Director: Neil LaBute
Writer: Neil LaBute
Stars: Justin Long, Kate Bosworth, Gia Crovatin, Lucy Walters

Plot

Driving home to her secluded estate after meeting at a local bar, a player out to score thinks his beautiful, mysterious date will be another casual hook-up. While getting acquainted, their flirtation turns playful, sexy and sinister. Hoping to get lucky, his luck may have just run out.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina