Many years back a murderer lived in a house that Richard Scarry, a real estate agent, has to sell somehow. The problem is that the house is haunted, and the ghosts are driving Richard crazy as he's trying to sell it, while his partner won't even set foor in the house.
This movie came recommended by Erica Summers, a fellow filmmaker I recently got in contact with. She told me to get in contact with the people behind the movie because she personally loved this, and thought I would too. And you know, grumpy as I am I will always be skeptic until I've watched the movie. I can guarantee you that "The Selling" is one of the best comedy horrors (note that it's comedy before horror!) I have seen this year. It's one of those movies that you almost get nostalgic about upon first watch because it reminds you of some classics like "The 'burbs". It's heavy on the comedy and easy on the horror, which is sorta rare nowadays even though the mix of horror and comedy is more common than ever.
It helps tremendously that we follow a character, Richard Scarry, who is extremely likable from the start. Richard is a real estate agent, but one who couldn't possibly ever tell a lie or oversell a house. Richard and his partner, Dave Ross, find themselves in a pickle when they have to sell a place where a serial killer once lived. Things aren't made easier by the fact that the victims are now restless ghosts, and they're not willing to give Richard and Dave a break. Dave is now too scared to even be in the house, and when they are showing the house they have to try and hide stuff such as bleeding walls to the buyers. Richard's only resting stone is a woman he slowly falls for, who is hugely interested in the paranormal. At the same time Richard has to think of his mother who is ill from cancer.
"The Selling" doesn't win points for scares, but it does win lots on funny jokes, great characters and a sweet, warm atmosphere. It's entertaining from the start and remains so even when it's not focusing on the ghosts (seeing a possessed Richard trying to drug a female bulimic co-worker using pot brownies is one example of many great laughs). Gabriel Diani plays Richard Scarry, but he also wrote and produced the movie, and he might be the richest aspect of "The Selling". His clever writing, mixed with his entire persona, is undeniably the entire reason this movie works. That's not to say that the entire cast and crew didn't do a great job - it's an extremely professional production. I don't know the budget but I doubt money was wasted.
There is really only one thing I can complain about, and that's effects. I'm not a supporter of CGI, as you know, and there are some questionable uses here. A lot of things work, but then there are some scene where it's a bit too obvious. Because it's not an effect-heavy movie it still works and doesn't drag down my opinion on the movie in the least. It's just one of those things you wish would've been solved some other way.
I mentioned "The 'burbs" earlier because that might be the type of movie I feel is closest to "The Selling", but I also find some similarities in "The Frighteners" because of how it uses the ghosts and some of the comedy. I think that if you like those two, or even the more recent "Some Guy Who Kills People" (both starring Barry Bostwick - and he's excellent in both!), then this is the right movie for you. For me and my girlfriend, this was an excellent little treat that came from nowhere.