Directed by Josh Hale, House of Inequity is another Aussie indie horror that explains why stepping over the threshold of a house that doesn’t belong to you can lead to an untimely demise. See also: Charlie’s Farm or Tarnation. What is it about breaking the rules and super creepy houses that appeal to the youths today? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that staying in your own home can be much safer!
House of Inequity kicks things off in 1978 with fugitive, Jacob Sleen (Stuart Lumsden) on the run from the police. Breaking into the titular house, Sleen slaughters the family within before cutting his own throat as part of a black mass ritual. Fast forward to the present and the house of inequity is talked about in hushed whispers on the internet.
For teenager Denny (Parker Little), having lost his parents, online true crime forums have become his second home. So, when his brother Henry (Todd Leigh) suggests going on a road trip to look at the old murder house and take a few piccies, Denny can’t believe his luck. Things go as well as you can expect for the brothers and their friends, when the house turns out be haunted by some very nasty spirits.
The gang become trapped and forced to watch (via an old TV) each other succumbing to a bloody and pulpy kind of death – kind of like Gogglebox for sadists. It’s here that Hale is clearly having a whale of a time, thrashing out vicious little scares on a modicum of a budget.
This is very much for the Hostel crowd, who want to be grabbed by the throat in their horror. The equivalent of a showbag, House of Inequity attempts to offer a little something for everyone, from killer clowns, haunted paintings, and violence-coated daddy issues. While not every scare lands brilliantly, the conveyer belt manner in which everything happens means the next act of violence might be the one that sends a shiver up your spine.
House of Inequity does suffer from pacing issues, particularly in the first act as Hale goes to great pains to ensure we care for the lambs as they go to the slaughter. Not the worst crime in the world, but some may be impatient for the claret to spill. Overall, for its faults, this is an impressive debut and is sure to find an extremely appreciative audience.