The Seasoning House is a British movie….you can usually tell a British made movie as it’ll have Sean Pertwee in as standard. It’s a revenge/survival horror based in Eastern Europe possibly in the 90’s where there was political upheaval and war. This makes it easy for atrocities to be committed. And they were, this is real life horror story right there. In the Bosnia war rape was actually used as instrument of terror, genocidal rape I think the term is.
A young deaf/mute girl Angel watches her family slaughtered and is taken to a brothel where she becomes a caretaker (the owner takes a liking to her). Caretaker in this sense means to “prepare” the girls for their clients. The girls are chained to a bed and Angels job is to wash them, drug them and apply a little make up. Her disability makes it easier for her to cut herself off from their pleas for help. This solitude is broken when one girl begins to use sign language to speak to her. When terrible things happen to her friend, she takes revenge and attempts her escape in a bloody and brutal fashion.
I found it interesting that the reviews on this movie are so polarized. People love it or hate it. It’s not an easy movie to watch however it’s compelling in a brutal sense. The first half of the film was dark and brutal and incredibly sad. The second half wasn’t as good or compelling. I felt the ending was lazy but I still think this is a worthwhile film to watch if you’re not too squeamish about sexual violence. The girls, Angel and Vanya (Rosie Day and Dominique Provost-Chalkley) were fantastic, realistic and compelling. It was hard watching Vanya as you believed the pain she was in.
I’ll give this 8/10. The ending let it down it was lazy and derivative of movies of this kind. The beginning however, and Angels escape I thought were brutally sad. The majority of the acting was strong and as a debut directorial from Paul Hyett I thought it was good stuff.