Sickhouse Creative, Unorthodox Social Media Film production
Sickhouse Film Details
Director: Hannah Macpherson
Writer: Hannah Macpherson
Release Date: 1 June 2016 (USA)
Release Format: Streaming
Genre: Horror, Thriller
A group of teenagers film a live documentary on the Sickhouse legend to millions around the world.
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Sickhouse is a unique production. It is without question that social media is a major part of our individual lives. From the latest gossip to current news trends social platforms connects the world. Thus, it should come to no surprise that filmmakers are embracing social media as a creative tool.
In recent years, social media influences have surged in Horror cinema. This sub-genre is still in its infancy so much so that to my knowledge has yet to have a branded moniker. “Sickhouse” is the latest film infusing social media with Horror.
The film abandons traditional production and distribution methods. Cameramen weren’t armed with state-of-the-art video cameras. Instead, conventional iPhones captured the scenes. Snapchat was the distribution stage. Presented were ten (10) second clips over the course of five (5) days.
“Sickhouse” launched via Andrea Russett’s personal Snapchat account. Russett is an Internet personality with followers numbering in the thousands. Between the 29 of April 2016 to the 3rd of April 2016, a work of horror fiction began to unfold. Audiences wondered if the developing scenes were a real life chronicle.
Hannah Macpherson penned and directed the production. In “Sickhouse” Russett portrays herself. After years of absence, Russett’s cousin Taylor pays her a visit. The role of Taylor is portrayed by actress Laine Neil. A story develops after some shenanigans and emotional filler content. Russett and Taylor along with a group of friends venture to “Sickhouse”. The titular abode is a haunted home located on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
“Sickhouse” is innovative for its unprecedented approach to filmmaking. The production is successful for using social media to its full potential. From a creative aspect, Macpherson created a well-executed venture. “Sickhouse” is genre defining for its unorthodox technical value.
Performing live is a commendable endeavor. It is evident most of the acting is improv. That in itself is an effort worth praising. Taking into consideration the distribution platform and authenticity the margin of error was slim.
“Sickhouse” follows the textbook approach employed in the myriad of found footage films. The majority of the film concentrates on extraneous sub-plots. This bloated narrative disguises itself as a docu-style appeal. Entertainment value finds defeat by the cast. Their futile attempt to acting is far from commendable. A sense of naturalness in their portrayals is nonexistent.
As per typical Found Footage concepts, the element of Horror has a reservation within Act III.
“Sickhouse” receives merits for its appeal to a young adult demographic. The concept is innovative in approach and delivery. Hannah Macpherson offers stylistic ingenuity and creativity. Yet, as commendable as the production may be the story lacks originality. “Sickhouse” is nothing more than a Found Footage derivative. Enthusiasts to Found Footage Horror cinema should consider “Sickhouse” for their next viewing.
Found Footage or docu-stylized Horror release in frequency from Hollywood. For a Found Footage film production one may ponder the following:
- Did Hannah Macpherson excel with a Hollywood quality level?
- Does Hollywood have the ingenuity or technical prowess of intermediate aptitude?
What’s disturbing with the latter is the millions generated from box office revenue. Most are sales are from audiences expecting a rich hair-raising experience.
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Rating Score: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive[/box]