I like all kinds of movies, from serious, high-budget productions to the campy, home video quality flick. The divide between those two kinds of films is closing over time with the rise of professional grade editing programs and consumer video equipment. Add to that mix crowdfunding programs such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe and an independent filmmaker’s dream can come true without their having to mortgage a property. So it’s difficult to say if something is actually a low budget film or video anymore, which is nice because then quality isn’t distracting from the film. This is definitely the case in The Domicile, a new film by Artist View Entertainment.
Entering The Domicile:
Once The Domicile commences, the scene is set with low hanging fog (which can be a bit overused if not careful) and ominous reflections in various glass objects. A very pregnant, redheaded Estella (Katherine Flannery) puts on an Estella’s Baked Goods apron for just a moment then takes it off which kinda makes you wonder why she put it on or if it might be foreshadowing. She talks to her husband Russell (Steve Richard Harris) who is working on a home project and injures himself so responds to his crankiness by saying she is going to sedate Sam (Amanda Ruth Ritchie) so she doesn’t go into the neighbors house again. Then when Brody’s drinking buddy and playwright partner David arrives, the stage is set for a movie of creepy happenings that will make you begin to wonder what might be supernatural and what might be “simple” insanity.
The person telling the story, from whose point of view we are witnessing the events, is not perfect. They have some issues with alcohol, are known by the police as being a troubled individual, and goes from calm to extremely angry in a moment’s notice. This can make some viewers wonder if he is a “faulty narrator”, that maybe he sees paranormal things because of what he has been through and not because they are actually happening. There’s also the simple possibility that it is a creepy ghost story, you are left to judge for yourself.
The creepy moments are well done and The Domicile features some good makeup effects and lighting design. It looks like a Pepper’s ghost illusion might have been used but it’s also possible the effects were done in post production. When I think about The Domicile, I keep going back to the makeup I liked and the effects – they struck my wife and I as the strongest part of the movie and whoever did it deserves more work!
Russell is an alcoholic, and the movie kinda beats that point a little deeply into the ground. There is a little green bottle in pretty much every scene he is in, most scenes have several. He is extremely stressed about finishing his latest play and any distraction makes him drink even more. The thing is he never seems to have more than a buzz even though he is constantly drunk, his only side effect is better writing. Or maybe more… but we don’t need more green bottles to go there.
In the way that the drunkenness is under played a lot of the other scenes are a bit overplayed. Acting can be a subtle thing and it was pretty good, just a little off. I bet their next films they will be even more on spot.
One Last Peek in The Domicile:
The Domicile had some really creepy supernatural effects that kept you glued to the screen to see what would happen next. The acting was still a little raw but the effects, camera, lighting, and editing are all well done and professional causing this movie to only drop a hair into the realm of “campy”. I look forward to The Domicile Two or maybe a new venture from the same production company.