FILM REVIEW | Housesitters (2018)


Full disclosure...because...I guess I'm supposed to do stuff like "full disclosures" if I'm to be taken seriously as a film site...right? LOLz...I kinda don't care about being taken seriously. Anyway...Full disclosure...Jason Coffman is a good friend of mine. I say this because I don't want you guys sending me messages regarding my enjoyment of the film based on my enjoyment of Mr. Coffman as a human being. I'm keeping this stuff professional. Or, at a Deviant sorta way. worries. However, I will mention that Jason is one of my very favorite voices in film he tends to like some of the same stuff that I enjoy. His film reviews and commentaries are usually on point and I tend to respect his opinion on films here and there. So, to hear that he was making his own film certainly got me excited at the potential for what he might accomplish behind the lens. And so, then one day.....Housesitters

So, I will say...right from the start...that Housesitters  is absolutely 100 percent NOT a film for everyone. Hell...I will even go so far as to say that Housesitters  is not a film for most cinema lovers. Like...if you love your MCU's and your Star Wars  stories...and rarely stray from those particular formulas...then, I will be so bold as to say...that you will most likely hate Housesitters. You will most definitely shut the film off within the first 5 minutes...and then go back to your Age of Ultron. However, if you are cut from a certain breed of film....shall I say...connoisseurs...well...I think you may very well have what it takes to take in a film like Housesitters, as it has something much more than a formula for breaking box office records. It has personality. Personally, I count myself as a fan of things like Fatal Frames  and Track of the Moon Beast...and stuff like Killdozer  and...god...Winterbeast. Yes...I say all this with a straight face and no hipster irony in my words...because, I genuinely adore stuff like that. Perhaps this is why my site is called "Film Deviant"...I dunno. So when it came time to watch Jason's body was fucking ready, my friends.

You know...after pondering a little more about those last few sentences...maybe my voice isn't the one to listen to when it comes to film recommendations and whatnot. I have several friends who loathe Fatal Frames  and call me crazy for my enjoyment of Van Helsing. So...maybe just take my words with the appropriate measure of salt...just to be safe.

Anyway...the film opens with a small group of female friends attempting to shoot a crude advertisement for a house sitting, we do get an early feel for the flavor of comedy that the film is going for. I would liken it to something in the Thankskilling  vein of parlor tricks. Fortunately for me...I really liked, I was on board. I will say...that the film does feel a bit on the personal taste side of humor. Like...if I shot my own comedy...I might find it hilarious...while others probably wouldn't. So, Housesitters  does feel a bit like that. While I was fine with it...I could totally see others not really going along for the ride...and feeling a tad alienated from its brand of humor. But, to the film's credit, it is much more focused on what it wants to do and where it wants to take its viewers rather than fucking around with jokes that don't quite land. So, you aren't left feeling like you have to sit through the characters beating a dead horse the entire running time. There are jokes that resonate...and then there are ones that don't quite stick. But, yeah...the two main characters score a house sitting gig that seems a tad too good to be good...especially when it is revealed that they get a platinum credit card at their disposal. Carnage ensues.

Speaking of the characters, there are really decent performances by the two main leads who play stoners who love watching weird porn films while they get high. Angie Watkins plays Angie and Jamie Jirak plays Izzy...and I will say that the two definitely have a good chemistry going back and forth with one another...that reminds me of older 80's film duos that I can't quite specifically remember for the purpose of this review. But, they felt fun...and I could certainly watch another installment down the road with these two in it. This isn't so much a slapstick comedy where you are prompted to laugh at every joke or funny situation being hurled at you as it is more one of those films where you just laugh and smile at the duo just hanging out and being themselves in this situational setting. As I mentioned earlier...the film has its own personality and these two talents really convey that with one another. I did really like the two onscreen and will say that it really helped my journey into the best part of the film -- the third act. However, before we get to that third act...I will mention some of the stuff that I didn't like as much.

I get what the film was going for...but, I was not a fan of the way that the film abruptly stops and lands on something that has nothing to do with the actual film. I won't...ummm...spoil it for you...but, I just felt sorely out of place...and really took me out for the length of time it was doing what it was...I guess...doing. Another thing I didn't like...and it wasn't so much the fault of the film or anyone involved with the filmmaking...was that it really feels like a low budget film. Like....REALLY FEELS low budget. And not so much the gore or that fabulous fucking puppet creature...but, everything around it...felt really low budget. I've seen other films that wear those things better and get away with those particular constraints in much more creative ways. I dunno...perhaps the film suffered in this way due to the lighting...or the wardrobe stuff. Just felt a tad on the cheap a pretty noticeable way, as opposed to maybe trying different things to take the attention away from that stuff...because it does take away a bit from the overall presentation and might turn off a potential viewer. I the end of the day...the film just doesn't feel polished.

Honestly...that's all the stuff that I didn't like about the film. Everything else...I was really digging. The little puppet creature was fucking great..and, dare I say, conveyed all kinds of personality all on its own...even better than a lot of CGI stuff that I've seen. The music, for the most part...especially when the film finally gets going...really sounded good. Quite a nice callback to the synth stuff from the late 70's/early 80's. The setting reminded me a little of the film Things...just in the way that it all takes place in one house and some of the carnage takes place in a bathroom. Not sure if that was the filmmaker's intention...but, it felt familiar in a good way. Then...that fucking third act, man. It is worth every bit of admission...or time spent hanging out with our duo watching all kinds of weird porn. It borders on plain genius. I won't spoil things for you here...but, I will only say...that when fucking Dan (Jay J. Bidwell really sells the third act with his stellar performance) shows up and starts doing his thing...there are some really, really interesting perversions made with usual tropes and stereotype stuff playing with how we perceive character roles as an audience that really knocked it out of the proverbial park for me. It was flat out....fucking bananas and goes for it in a really smart way. So great! Sadly...out of the scant hour running time...the flat out bananas stuff only takes up the final minutes of the film...and I could have seriously watched an entire film based on those particular concepts presented. Because...that stuff really is THAT good! I mentioned all the way up above...Housesitters  IS NOT for everyone. is a film that some viewers will get...and for those lucky few that do get is a film that ultimately rewards you. A film that celebrates the outsiders and "demons" out there cast out of society. Those that are shunned for appreciating good porn, amazing old fashioned's and good "Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" kush. And, more importantly, a film that challenges you in the best ways as a fan of cinema and how we watch stories unfold before us. Especially when Dan flips everything on its head! Housesitters  is a young filmmaker shaping clay into some pretty ambitious and interesting concepts...and that, my really cool to watch.

Thanks for reading,