'House Of Flesh Mannequins' Movie Review

House of Flesh MannequinsBy Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com

Watching Writer/Director Domiziano Cristopharo’s House Of Flesh Mannequins is like experiencing a lengthy nightmare from which you cannot wake – and I mean that in the best possible way.

As the viewer, we are left to wander through a dark and twisted dreamscape full of unforgettable, haunting imagery that could very well fit right in with Dante Alighieri’s masterful vision of hell Inferno.

One just cannot simply explain the plot of HOFM, it is a film that is best gone into knowing very little about, so that you may experience the full effect of wandering in the dark as this startling nightmare unfolds before your very eyes.

However, it should be said that this might not be the horror film for everyone – it is an experience that could be alienating to some due to its extreme nature, and it features explicit sexual acts and, if I’m not mistaken, actual bodily harm such as cutting, piercing and other extreme S & M activities.

Don’t let that put you off though – this is truly an original piece and well worth that first viewing, if not a second or third to take in every horrific detail and symbolism in.

To me, House Of Flesh Mannequins is David Lynch meets David Cronenberg by way of the Italian exploitation film that also calls to mind the work of Argento.

It is a slow-burning, relentless psychosexual nightmare that transports you to this nightmarish world and forces you to confront and unravel the startling mystery at the core of the film.

Although it may not be easy viewing, it’s always enthralling and try as you might, you just can’t look away – you can’t escape the nightmare, you just want to keep travelling further through the darkness – and the film keeps you in a constant state of uneasiness, never giving you a moment to relax, never relieving the pressure – and best of all, never toning down its odd nature.

Adding to the film’s bizarre nature is the wonderful musical score composed by seven different people.

The score ranges from some menacing piano work. a few sombre jazz pieces, a sweeping flute track and some quiet acoustic guitar work and when played against the backdrop of the surreal and haunting nightmare, this beautifully constructed and diverse score just unsettles even further.

As the two main leads at the dark heart of the film, Domiziano Arcangeli and Irena A. Hoffman, are both outstanding in their portrayals of these broken, tortured souls.

Together, the two actors play off each other wonderfully and their relationship is what helps drives the film towards it’s perverse and shocking ending

 Domiziano is heartbreaking as the tortured Sebastian and beautifully conveys his internal struggles as he seeks to live out his adult life after a harrowing childhood abuse.

It is painful to watch how this fractured human being interacts socially with those around him.

Hoffman is captivating as Sarah, literally the girl next door from Sebastian that walks into his life and connects with him through their shared interests of filmmaking.

Behind her lurks another mystery, which makes her strong performance and her interactions with Sebastian all the more intriguing to watch.

House Of The Flesh Mannequins is a terrific artistic achievement, featuring an astonishing production, from its extravagant use of lighting to disturbing jump cuts and reveals.

It is a brilliant avant-garde horror film - harrowing, erotic, depraved, perverse, brutal, gut wrenching and it features some of the most disturbing, unforgettable imagery I’ve encountered in a horror film in a very, very long time.

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