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Open House

2.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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(Aug 03, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A couple on the verge of a nasty divorce attempt to sell their empty love nest and move on with their lives, separately. After a successful open house, they are horrified to discover, days later, that a potential buyer didn’t leave their home. While Alice is being held captive in the basement, the unannounced houseguest moves in upstairs. She senses her capture is being kept a rebellious secret. She knows her only way out, if she can only get out alive.

Stills from Open House (Click for larger image)


With a True Blood-like poster featuring portraits of Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer hovering in front of a haunted house, one may mistakenly expect a vampire tale starring this popular horror-series couple. However, Open House, written and directed by Anna's brother, Andrew Paquin, is a far cry from the hit TV series. Rather, it is a slow-paced horror film in which couple Josh (Moyer) and Alice (Rachel Blanchard) try to sell their home to prepare for divorce but encounter a hazard in the form of psychotic couple David (Brian Geraghty) and Lila (Tricia Helfer), who steal the home and move right in, with deadly results. In fact, Paquin, as Alice's friend Jennie, and Moyer have mere cameos in Open House. The bulk of the plot is devoted to David's conundrum as Alice struggles to stay alive in the basement. While Open House is not overly gory, there are bloody moments. Overall, it is no Texas Chainsaw Massacre, meaning that the film is not about gore in itself. The film is primarily a psychological investigation of a man who is torn between torturing and killing. This narrative has created some rich horror film territory--see any of Dario Argento's films, such as Opera--but Open House mines no new approach. A couple of odd, funny moments, like when David offers Alice a sandwich while he gets out his laptop to work despite her bruised, defeated appearance, hint at the contemporary edge, an ennui, that this film tries so hard to achieve. But it is mostly a fluffy rehash of a story that horror films can only pull off if they have either style or script going for them, not to mention a captivating criminal character. Open House lacks engaging characters or original vision. For a stronger horror film along similar lines, check out Terribly Happy, a Danish movie with enough plot twists and curve balls that the crimes perpetrated convey not only dark humor but also a deeper social message. --Trinie Dalton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin, Rachel Blanchard, Brian Geraghty, Tricia Helfer
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003LR5BDK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,283 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Open House" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I watched this movie for two reasons: We love True Blood and never miss an episode, and since Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are featured on the cover, I was interested to see more of their acting. Secondly, because I work in Real Estate and thought the open house premise would be fun. Like an open house that doesn't just go bad, it goes slasher bad, awesome!

Sadly, it was a boring, run of the mill home invasion slasher/thriller. Anna Paquin was in the movie for 30 seconds, Stephen Moyer for about 5 minutes tops. After checking out the back and seeing Open House was directed by Andrew Paquin, both of those cameos now make sense. What better way to draw in all those True Blood fans then to have these two on the cover?

The movie just slowly progressed, the acting was fine but not impressive. The directing was typical, nothing wrong with it. The story has already been done time and again, and they missed the opportunity to explore some unique aspects of the characters. No scares, regular amount of spurting blood. I love scary movies, I'm not a big critic. I expect some entertainment, that's about it. Open House barely provided even that.
Comment 24 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This doesn't have quite the plot that the DVD jacket suggests. Just skimming the jacket blurb, you might think this movie will be about a maniac or two taking up residence in the basement of a house for sale, then creeping out at night after new occupants have taken up residence there. That sounded like a promising premise that plays into a glancing fear many of us might have when we consider buying a house. Did the realtor conscientiously check all the basement cubbyholes, all the closets before locking up after every Open House?

But no, that isn't quite what this movie is about. If anything, it's a reversal of that more predictable theme. In this case, the sociopaths blatantly occupy the body of the house, while the rightful owner gets imprisoned in the basement, left to haunt and perhaps ultimately challenge the intruders.

This is a movie of few words, at least on the part of the male sociopath. There is no burden of back-story here, no Psycho-like epilogue neatly explaining the psychopaths' behavior. This vicious duo dwells in existential space, isolated in their clean, white, new surroundings. The male is a silhouette as he sits on the couch, limned by the sunlight coming in through the window behind. These two drop in from their own universe, reminiscent of the evil that descends in the notable German film, "Funny Games." In this case though, one of the intruders has the redeeming capacity to feel some affection, some empathy.

But the film's overall silences are what make it more memorable than the average maniacs-amok film. It has a trance-like, fairy-tale quality that draws the viewer into its silent spaces, that invites the viewer to fill the vacuums.

"Open House" does include something of a twist.
Read more ›
Comment 13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
When I chose to watch this movie, I thought it would be something I would enjoy. Not so much....

The story follows the journey of a divorced woman as she tries to sell her upscale home. We see numerous couples visiting the Open House held by the realtor.

Then one day, we are aware that a mysterious person is going down the basement stairs, and the realtor leaves without realizing it.

Next, a mysterious couple seemingly takes over the house, after first killing a couple of guests and tying up the woman who resides there.

From there, we catch a glimpse of one horrible scene after another, until finally, the carnage is over.

Or is it?

First, I thought that Anna Paquin would have a bigger role in this film but her scenes were brief. The other actors were unknown to me, and if I'd realized that "Rachel Blanchard" was NOT "Tammy Blanchard," whose work I enjoy, I probably would not have clicked over to rent this one. Throughout, I kept wondering when there would be a big reveal that would illuminate us as to the motivations of the killers. But nothing presents itself. I like to understand why the characters behave the way they do; senseless violence turns me off.

But for those who like horror for the sake of it, there are some moments that you'll enjoy. As for me, I did stay glued to the film throughout, so I guess that says something.

Definitely not five stars, though. Three, perhaps.
2 Comments 8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We were disappointed in the movie. The acting wasn't bad and it looked as though it had potential but there wasn't enough explaination given as to why this was all happening. Also, there wasn't alot of background/relationship information given Layla and her brother/mate.

I guess it is suppose to be suspenseful because of the lack of information provided?? The fear of the unknown...I don't know but it just seemed lacking without it.

A guy and girl who are brother and sister but are oddly intimate apparently go house to house and live in it...why do they do this? The question is never answered.
Also, the neighbors, family, friends, ect. never think to report something suspicious? So the duo have been living in peoples' homes and the police has never caught onto them? Oh yeah...they move from place to place frequently....but why they do this is never answered.

There are more unanswered "why" questions but I don't want to give too much although there isn't much...
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