Review – The Seasoning House
If that picture doesn’t just say it all about The Seasoning House, nothing much else will. Look at that. So grim. So depressing. Before we all fall into the doldrums, though, may I point out that though this movie is depressing, Gone Girl is still far more depressing. Plus, there’s a pretty awesome revenge plot in this film that I think you’ll enjoy after sitting through some pretty horrendous stuff. Lemme break down the movie for you and let you know why it’s taken me so long to watch it after seeing it in my Netflix picks for months.
Trailer is NSFW – there is cussing and gore, so you’ve been warned
I didn’t watch this movie for a good, long while because the description is shite: “They’re trapped and abused in a house of horror. Their only hope? It’s behind the very walls that keep them here.” We all infer things differently, but when I read that, I thought either the plotline was going to be exactly like People Under The Stairs or that the house was haunted and ghosts would be helping the people. That description really doesn’t make mention of some of what I would consider the most important aspects of the story. The description should have said: “Set in the middle of the third Balkan war (or in the tail end of the Bosnian war)*, a young girl is held prisoner as a housemaid in a brothel. After witnessing and experiencing months of abuse at the hands of rebel military officers, Angel seeks out revenge and escape from this house of horrors.” Bosnian War? I’ll gladly watch anything about that because that is some fascinating history. Revenge? You know I’ll watch that, with pleasure. 🙂
I don’t know about you, but I take a lot of time in my life to think on things. I’ve been thinking fairly frequently lately about whether I believe that revenge or retribution are the best way to right a wrong. By the time we get to the revenge part of Seasoning House, I was fully on board with revenge. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but just know that the girls in this brothel have been abducted from their families, are mostly underage, doped up, and the officers using their services are abusive and do not care about a girl bleeding or crying during “intercourse” (yeah, that’s in quotes because if you consider punching and choking someone and penetrating them against their will to be intercourse, then I recommend you seek professional help). I can’t even imagine how awful it would be to see all of that stuff all in the midst of a war going on in your country, so when the main character starts to go on her killing spree, I was all for it.
A really cool thing about this movie is that the main character, Angel, is deaf and mute (or hearing impaired and speech impaired, but am I the only one who reads “hearing impaired” and thinks of those commercials where the wife yells at her husband to turn the TV down, because his hearing ain’t what it used to be?). During the first 40+ minutes of the movie, you’re seeing things the way she would, so there isn’t much dialogue and a lot of times, you see things but hear nothing. That aspect added to the gruesome subject matter and images, and helped to build suspense in the last half of the movie when Angel is trying to escape. Imagine trying to run from someone when you can’t even hear them? That would be terrifying.
This movie was really solid and extremely compelling. It tugged on my hear strings because whether we want to know it or not, there are more slaves in the world now than at any time in history, and a whole lot of those are sex slaves. The only downfall of the film is the ending because it could be considered a cliffhanger. I don’t want to explain why, but just know that the credits are going to roll and you’re going to think, “Wait, but so, what does that mean, then?”. All in all, if you’re going to watch this, get ready for some really sad scenes, then some awesome gore and excitement, and then a slight “what the?” moment at the end.
Did you think that Seasoning House was going to be like People Under The Stairs? Or did you think it was a biopic on Emeril Lagasse? Who am I kidding? His biopic would totally be called BAM! and we all know it.
*The Bosnian War and Balkan War are extremely complex and can be considered wars within wars or just one massive war. For a kick ass (albeit kind of depressing) movie about the Bosnian war, check out Dennis Quaid in Savior.