“House with 100 Eyes” is a found footage horror film written by Jim Roof and directed by Jay Lee and Jim Roof. The film follows a disturbed couple who lure unsuspecting victims into their home to serve as unwitting stars for their self-produced snuff films.
House with 100 Eyes ranks among the more gruesome titles within the found footage genre, but manages to infuse a healthy dose of humor in the process, adding much needed levity between the more violent moments in the film. In a genre filled with excessive violence, House with 100 Eyes differentiates itself by dedicating a healthy amount of time walking us through how a snuff film is actually made, from the planning stages through execution (pardon the pun). In one of the more humorous moments early on in the film, Ed (one of the two anti-heroes) takes a few moments to describe the contents of the “murder kit,” an essential set of tools one must have on hand when trolling for victims.
In a genre filled with excessive violence House with 100 Eyes differentiates itself by dedicating a healthy amount of time walking us through how a snuff film is actually made, from the planning stages through execution (pardon the pun).
What’s more, the film takes this approach one step further, illustrating (quite humorously) how difficult it is for the couple to successfully lure victims to their house. This novel approach offers a great setup for the film and provides an opportunity for a level of character development not typically found in most films within in this horror subgenre.
House with 100 Eyes opens with the onscreen message: “In June of 2000, documentary filmmaker Jay Lee received an anonymous package containing fifty-eight unmarked video tapes and DVDs. The footage they contained was so shocking and depraved that law-enforcement agencies and media outlets declared it a hoax . . . You are about to witness the creation of a snuff film.”
House with 100 Eyes is filmed entirely from the perspective of the two anti-heroes Ed (Jim Roof) and Susan (Shannon Malone), a seemingly normal couple with a very abnormal, if not demented, hobby – Ed and Susan produce snuff films. Ed goes on to explain that every room in their house is wired with hidden surveillance cameras, the torture rooms are sound proof, and the house is escape proof.
During the course of the film, Ed and Susan are always mindful of the cameras around them, making sure to always speak to their “fans” regardless of what they are doing. Everything is filmed, from Susan putting on her makeup and preparing dinner, through the couple’s acquisition of their stars and pre-show interviews of the “cast.”
The duo set out to produce the ultimate snuff film experience – as Ed explains, “For the first time ever you are gonna get all the bonus features you get on a straight DVD, I’m talking director’s commentary, interviews, deleted scenes, behind the scenes. We’ve got cameras everywhere.” This snuff film will be the couple’s most ambitious project, as they plan on luring a male and two females into their home to make the “world’s first triple feature” snuff film.
Through conversations between Ed and Susan, we come to learn that the couple has a penchant for murder, the implication being that Ed and Susan are each accomplished serial killers in their own right. Ed has a proclivity for slow torturous death, while Susan’s preference is death by poisoning – Ed and Susan are visibly aroused by the act of killing.
Ed and Susan are always mindful of the cameras around them, making sure to always speak to their “fans” regardless of what they are doing. Everything is filmed, from Susan putting on her makeup and preparing dinner, through the couple’s acquisition of their stars and pre-show interviews of the “cast.”
From here, the couple goes out trolling for victims. After three days and two failed attempts, the couple finally manages to find their trio of victims: Jamie (Larissa Lynch), Crystal (Liz Burghdorf), and Clutch (Andrew Hopper). The trio willingly goes with Ed and Susan with the promise of $500 each for staring in an adult film for the evening. Once the group arrives at Ed and Susan’s house, the nightmare begins.
The acting in House with 100 Eyes is nothing short of exceptional. Jim Roof as Ed is the driving force that carries the film from beginning to end, and Shannon Malone as Susan does a great job at playing the deranged spouse. Larissa Lynch as Jamie performs admirably as the strong willed victim set on survival, and Andrew Hopper plays the convincingly naive Clutch. The supporting cast, including Liz Burgdorf as Crystal, Lauren Lakis as Maddy, and the other prospective victims round out the great cast.
The acting in House with 100 Eyes is nothing short of exceptional.
The filming reason in House with 100 Eyes is nothing short of perfect. The anti-heroes, Ed and Susan, provide a compelling reason why everything is filmed from beginning to end. The couple intends to produce a snuff film with deleted scenes, behind the scenes footage, and interviews, and wired their house with cameras everywhere in accordance with that plan.
Found Footage Cinematography
The found footage in House with 100 Eyes is captured through a combination of fixed surveillance cameras and handheld/tripod-fixed camcorders. The myriad of available cameras offers a variety of unique perspectives which offers a high degree of creative license in editing the final footage to play out somewhat like a narrative film, while still staying firmly grounded as found footage.
Many scenes throughout the film include heavy audio static coupled with distorted video that coincide with scenes where Ed is angered/enraged. These audio and video artifacts come across as the manifestation of evil radiating from Ed and Susan. This effect creates an intensified disturbing and uncomfortable feeling in scenes where Ed is enraged. Further, the effect brilliantly ratchets up the tension using a natural (albeit slightly paranormal) phenomenon while avoiding the use of background music or sound design.
For a film with a rather intense degree of gore, the film opts to blur all scenes with nudity. The beginning of House with 100 Eyes includes an onscreen message that states, “In June of 2000, documentary filmmaker Jay Lee received an anonymous package containing fifty-eight unmarked video tapes and DVDs.” Suffice it to say, if we’re to stay within the confines of the film, we can assume that Jay Lee blurred these scenes in his edited version of the film released to the public.