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'House In The Alley' just doesn't translate for North American horror fans

House In The Alley


The world we live in getting smaller and smaller every single day and it allows us to have access some stuff we would never expect to have access to. Even though it broke box office records when it debuted in its home country of Vietnam, "House In The Alley" is just a little too dull as it takes way too long between moments to generate any genuine tension.

She's not very happy...

The story of a young couple were happily settling into their new life in their new spacious home, until it all goes wrong and they lose their baby to a miscarriage. After the tragedy, Thao (Thanh Van Ngo) is inconsolable and won't let her baby's body leave the house. Normal life eludes her as terrifying visions undermine her sanity. Her husband, Thanh (Son Bao Tran) experiences strange phenomena around their home and when his wife turns on him, he must race to uncover the secrets of the house in the alley before they lose their sanity and their lives.

It's a creepy idea that starts off with some genuine promise, but "House In The Alley" just goes nowhere fast as it tries to build tension but it just bores its audience as not much of anything actually happens as this mostly inexperienced cast and crew couldn't deliver any legitimate payoff.

Writer/director Le-Van Kiet starts us off on a dark and stormy night that is filling us with promise as we are thrust into the tragedy of a miscarriage as this young couple desperately waits for help. However the aftermath of it all is rather poorly executed as we see this young mother inconsolable dealing with her grief and the subsequent strange occurrences around the house are played out far too subtly as it never genuinely feels like anything is happening.

Having creepy things happen are one thing, but there is such little pay off and the bulk of the story genuinely plays out as post partum depression gone horribly, horribly wrong. Don't get me wrong, that COULD work as a creepy horror movie plot point, it just all unfolds in far too subtle a fashion because even though the heavy opening of this film grabs us, it just doesn't do enough in the heart of the narrative to make the supposedly frightening climax mean anything.

Performances were fine, but both leads only have credits that list in the single digits and just don't have the experience to help this material that ultimately lets them down. So much of it was just so unimaginative that the damn thing just never registers on any level.

The only special feature on this DVD is the trailer.

With "House In The Alley" we get sucked into something that could have the promise of some of the best that the horror genre in the Pacific Rim have offered us, but we just get an idea that needed a lot more development as this material that might have filled a decent 15 minute short, leaves a 94 minute feature with way too much filler that makes for an truly boring experience.

1 out of 5 stars.

"House In The Alley" is available on DVD from retailers now.

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