With the world slowly coming out of lockdown, House Monster is the latest horror thriller to draw inspiration from the real-world events of the ongoing pandemic. Writer/director David Axe takes the ongoing isolation and fear that many people have felt over the past year and throws in a sinister twist. Today, we have the first trailer for House Monster along with a poster that warns, “It’s alive inside.”
The story centres around a struggling actress as she quarantines alone in the wake of a global pandemic. But after a series of bizarre occurrences around her home, her paranoia grows and she increasingly begins to expect that she is not alone. As the days draw on, the monster within her home gets bolder and more ever-present, until the woman is forced to confront her literal demon.
House Monster is the latest feature from up-and-coming indie film writer David Axe. The former military journalist turned graphic novel writer, produced his first feature film in 2017 Theta Girl. A grindhouse-style revenge thriller about a young woman who must track down her friend’s killers, unravelling a conspiracy about a new drug called Theta in the process. Axe followed up in 2019 with another feature, Lection, a film about a local election in a post-apocalyptic society. Serving as a social commentary on the state of government with loose libertarian themes.
Axe looks set to turn his hand to social commentary again with his latest movie that will be more in the vein of his second feature. House Monster it appears, will draw parallels with the ongoing conversation about mental health. The tagline “It’s in your house. It’s in your head” suggests there could be more to the story than what’s on the surface. Similar to recent horror hits like The Babadook and Hereditary, the film teases the idea that the quarantine blurs the lines of reality for the trapped protagonist and that she may have to face the demons in her head to overcome the one in her house.
It’s unclear at this stage whether the titular monster will exist at all or whether it will simply be a manifestation of the loneliness the protagonist is feeling. Becoming further intensified as the days move on and she begins to lose grasp of the concept of time, sinking deeper into her depression. Monster House looks to use isolation and nihilism in much the same way popular horror classics such as The Thing have in the past, to deliver a truly chilling experience.
The claustrophobic thriller will also adopt the latest incarnation of found footage horror made famous by the Paranormal Activity series. Making use of modern tropes such as CCTV and webcam shots to create a pseudo-realism to the narrative in an attempt to immerse the audience further. Audiences should now be very familiar with the obligatory video chat with friends and relatives having been immersed in a similar situation for the past year. Paranormal Activity much like The Blair Witch Project before it really struck a chord, horrifying fans nationwide. Whether House Monster can have the same impact or will simply be another underwhelming attempt to follow the formula like Unfriended, remains to be seen.
House Monster will star Mike Amason, Aaron Blomberg, Jennifer Hill, and Josh Kern and is scheduled for digital and DVD release in North America on September 7th 2021 from Wild Eye Releasing.