Film Review: House Of Sweat And Tears @ The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Director: Sonia Escolano
Writer: Sonia Escolano
Stars: Eudald Font, Haydée Lysander, Paula Mateu
Playing as part of The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival the House Of Sweat And Tears lives up to its name with a gruelling look inside a cult. The mental disintegration, the physical abuse are all laid bare and it is excruciating viewing.
We are thrown straight into the cult with the leader Mother holding court, espousing the virutes of the cult. We see the cult go through their routines, eating pretend food and the various strange rituals. However, we also start to see some signs dissent and as the cult members faith begins to waver cracks appear and jealously rears its ugly head between the cult members. Mother chastises a member for impure thoughts, the other cult members sit idol, watching Mother degrade the girl and it is a good example of just how far the cult has corrupted their minds.
We never see the cult members outside bar for two scenes and when they are outside they are being blindfolded or placed in masks, the confines of their 'house' is also their torment. There seems to be no natural light inside the house and in true cult style, the outside is evil. So when an outsider comes into the cult he starts to question the things that they do, even opposing Mother's words. He tells the cult that there are other ways of doing things and that there are other ideas...
Writer and Director Sonia Escolano has created a very atmospheric and claustrophobic look into this cult and it is uncomfortable viewing especially for those of us that have subscribed to religion at various times. However, this film whilst atmospheric does not move along fast enough, the slow place makes it difficult to access. The acting is excellent, making the audience a part of the cult at times - every actor commits to their roles which makes some of the scenes very uncomfortable. The film is very well made and wonderfully shot and directed but the story doesn't really move until the last twenty or so minutes presenting a violent climax that doesn't quite hold the weight it should due to how slowly things had happened before.
Played as part of The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78