I’m a little jealous. In my stints as a house and dog sitter I found some weird things – homemade porn, leopard print sheets scented with perfume. I even got shown around one apartment by an owner who made no effort to hide his early morning boner. But, I never sat at a place with a creepy pentagram strewn basement and its own personal demon!
Best friends and eternal wisecrackers Angie (Annie Watkins) and Izzy (Jamie Jirak) hit the jackpot in director-writer Jason Coffman’s truly fun horror-comedy Housesitters, though. Left a credit card and enough 80s/90s fashions in one closet for an effective musical montage, all they need is a couple of hot, trouble making dudes to make their first house sitting adventure a total success. That’s where Greg (James Timothy Peters), a pizza delivery guy, and Zach (Peter Ash), Izzy’s boyfriend, come in. Zach, in a nonverbal apology for eating all of Angie’s brownies, also brings along her current crush, Mark (Ben Schlotfelt).
But soon Greg and Mark are attacked by a miniature green creature and disappear. The appearance of Zach’s friend Dan (Jay J. Bidwell) singles more mayhem. Unable to leave the house due to their benefactor’s devilish dealings, the group venture to the basement to try to resolve their problems. The wounded Dan, though, emerges as something a bit more demonic and life between the bosom companions will never be the same again.
Smartly utilizing one location, haunted by Dustin Wayde Mills’ ravenously adorable monster-puppet, Coffman wisely builds the relationships between his main characters here. In fact, Watkins and Jirak are so natural and spontaneously goofy that they become the highlight of this tight yet carefree production. As the closing credits roll, it is obvious that they were allowed to riff on and improvise a large part of their material, making “Broad City Meets Monster Movie” a hoped for trend in the near future.
The duo’s male co-stars, Ash, Schlotfelt, Peters and Bidwell, also key into their low-key, naturalistic vibe. They all deliver believable and slightly ironic performances, surely a product of their seeming theatrical groundedness. Their skill, coupled with the surprising twists that Coffman provides for their characters in the film’s final moments, ultimately make Housesitters a truly entertaining celluloid outing. That it is also one filled with femme powered horror amusements is probably its greatest strength and joy. Let’s hope this really is a trend!
Note: This review was done on a work-in-progress version of the movie as it gears up for festival submissions. To be sure to join Angie and Izzy as they party their way to different events, follow https://www.facebook.com/HousesittersMovie/.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!