House on the Hill


Action / Crime / Horror

IMDb Rating 2.9 10 233


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 35,599 times
August 19, 2014 at 10:08 PM



701.42 MB
29.970 fps
1hr 25 min
P/S 7 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ([email protected]) 8 / 10

Well-directed Horror Flick Suffers From Low Production Values

The case of serial killer Leonard Lake is one of the most notorious in California history. Along with his equally psychotic partner, Charles Ng, Lake was an ex-Marine and survivalist responsible for kidnapping, human exploitation and murder during the 1980s. They took their victims to a secluded mountain hideaway for ransom, torture, sexual assault and finally murder. Lake also videotaped activity with his victims, and taped himself describing for the camera why he wanted to commit these atrocities. This latter video came into the possession of director Jeffrey Frentzen, who constructed this middling "terror" film around frankly astounding testimonial footage.

The loosely constructed plot tells the tale of the two killers in flashback form, as a fictional survivor Sonia (Naidra Dawn Thomson) recalls to a private detective (Kevin McCloskey) the horrors of being one of Lake's captives years prior. The detective is seeking the whereabouts of another Lake victim who disappeared around the time Sonia managed to escape from the house on the hill. The flashbacks show Lake and Ng as somewhat unskilled kidnappers who tried to build a money making enterprise around their murderous exploits. They would enslave the female victims, keeping them in grungy prison cells, and were not above kidnapping relatives and people they just didn't like.

Frentzen, here a first-time director who also co-wrote and edited, had helped produce several low budget direct to video genre flicks with German expatriate filmmaker Ulli Lommel between 2005 and 2008 (with title such as KILLER NURSE, DIARY OF A CANNIBAL and GREEN RIVER KILLER). Superficially, HOUSE ON THE HILL is reminiscent of these earlier productions by virtue of also having been shot on HD cam under what could charitably be called tough, small crew conditions in claustrophobic rooms. Unlike most found footage disasters, this movie's low-end video look actually complements the grainy testimonial footage of Leonard Lake. The reportedly extreme sexual violence was toned down for U.K. and U.S. release..

HOUSE ON THE HILL is fairly well directed by Frentzen, who constructs gruesome set pieces, such as the drawn out killing of Crystal Nelson, Laura Leigh's death by baseball bat, and the murder of an entire family. Although the movie occasionally drifts into the same territory as John McNaughton's HENRY PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, the disjointed flashback format sadly keeps characterization to a minimum. As soon as we start to know the victims they are dispatched. The concept of showing the two murderers as incompetents that try but cannot seem to make a profit from their killing spree is a different approach for a serial killer flick.

Though ultimately done in by low production values, a grating music score but offset by decent acting from a small cast of unknowns, HOUSE ON THE HILL shows off a solid directorial debut and proves once and for all that serial killers should choose their victims carefully if they expect to make any money from their exploits.

Reviewed by r-shasta 5 / 10

Disturbing, but Low end

OK folks, now for something rather different in the slasher-sex killer-serial murderer genre, and not without some merits. With House on the Hill we touch on subversive territory, with film makers pushing hard on sexual violence. Tag lines include "No one is left alive" and "No kill no thrill" while the movie catalogs a grim recounting of how two scowling unemotional pair of murderers were compelled to kill for pleasure, also taking out their rape fantasies on a succession of drugged out women who occasionally fight back to no avail. Documentary footage of one of the real killers talking blandly about his sick fantasy is a highlight. The camera-work gets a little wobbly but the acting is good enough to make the violence, humiliations, beatings and knifings increasingly disturbing until by the last frame we feel a bit desensitized. The movie imparts a suitably sick attitude. It is all difficult to watch. The focus is on the victims more than the killers. It's all very up close and personal, too, showing the doomed victims struggling or trying in vain to survive. Give it a C for succeeding in being just different enough from other films of this type.

Reviewed by Geoffrey Dover 8 / 10

Not a total disappointment

This is a slow-burn creeper of a film focusing on two real-life serial killers, one of whom gets a co-starring role here as himself in flashback "found" footage. The story of House on the Hill is, well..... A woman recalls her days and nights with one of the killers as her tormenting lover, with digressions and flashbacks within flashbacks. The killers kill a succession of women and some of it gets tedious. Creepy and effective for the most part but in terms of movie-making it's crude. There are a couple of gruesome moments but it's mostly about the processes they employ to kill; the killers appear frustrated much of the time, and play a lot of chess but neither of them is very bright. The real-life killer appears at interludes, speaking to the viewer directly, with a chilling nonchalance that elevates the movie somewhat. The movie's bluntness creates suspense in some scenes. Most of the dread is created by some decent acting but there is no story to support the effort. Things get monotonous but on balance it's not a total disappointment.

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