During a Blakan war, girls are kept and drugged for prostitution inside of a large, boarded up house. A young deaf mute is forced to take care of the other girls. Through crawling inside of the walls, in crawlspaces, she becomes close to one of the girls. When the military drops by, she soon as to find a way out of the house if she wants to survive.
This came highly recommended by fellow reviewer James DePaolo and considering I know him quite a bit I usually trust his opinion, so I had to go for it. Without knowing anything about it, which seems to be something I do a lot nowadays, and it makes it more fun. But in just a few minutes you know exactly what you are in for: a dirty, dark, violent and abusive story.
Set during war times, yet it's definitely not a war movie as much as that is a backdrop. "The Seasoning House", as you might understand, takes place within a house. It's a place where women are kept as prostitutes for soldiers. The house is completely run down and boarded up, and the drugged up women are dropping one by one. There is one woman, or girl, that is kept strictly for taking care of the others. She's a deaf mute, and the owner of the whole operation has a thing for her. When the girl isn't forced to take care and give drugs to the others, she crawls inside of the walls to be able to visit them on nicer circumstances. She becomes especially attached to one of them, and when said woman is seriously hurt by one of the visiting soldiers, she jumps in to defend her. But now she has to hide from all the other visiting soldiers.
Because there wasn't much of a backstory to begin with, it took me a little while before I cared for the characters. Even though they were living under these horrific circumstances, being abused and mistreated, it's hard to really get into it if that's where it starts. However, once you get to know them, and our lead girl especially, the movie quickly gets filled with tension and hopelessness. It's an extremely unapologetic film, and that's how it manages to work from start to finish. It could be harmed by being repetitive to start with, but that's something we're very willing to forgive because of how captivating it's slowly becoming.
One of the things that can't be ignored in a review is the violence. I was extremely impressed by the effects and realistic nature of the violence overall. I won't reveal too much, but an example of what to expect is in the first few minutes when they're slicing a throat. And it's extremely brutal and in your face without the aid of editing. I'm pretty certain that the movie has used a great mix of prosthetics and CGI. And if you're gonna use CGI, then this is exactly how to do it - together with prosthetics. There's not a huge amount of gore, but when it's there they're not saving a drop. One scene in particular was long and excruciating.
Obviously, "The Seasoning House" is not a feel-good movie, and it's not far from being shocking. It's definitely a movie you'll be affected by, but it might not shock as much as it saddens you with its bleak nature of a world in war. Odds are that you'll feel bad for most of the movie, but I can also say that there's a glimmer of hope by the end. I'm pretty confident when I say that they succeeded with what they were going for. Highly recommended if you want a well-crafted and sleazy window to hell of earth. It's a quite intense from the FX artist of some of Neil Marshall's movies and other great UK flicks!
Note: We're sorry that there are no screenshots for this review, we were asked to take them down!