Director – David Hinds (The Hunt for the House on Cuckoo Lane, Queen of Hearts)
Starring – David Hinds, Laura Hinds, and Jamie Richardson (This Changed Earth, The Hunt for the House on Cuckoo Lane)
Release Date – 2014
Rating – 3/5
What would October, or any month for that matter, be without a couple Wild Eye flicks tossed in for some indie no budget goodness? Wild Eye and myself may not always see eye to eye but I do enjoy a majority of their films. They are one of my favorite indie labels with some of my favorite indie flicks finding distribution through them.
Awhile back Wild Eye released the U.K. indie flick The House on Cuckoo Lanedirected by and starring David Hinds which was based on his short with the same name. The artwork fucking sold me on the film. With Halloween approaching I thought it would be the perfect time to toss this one in.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Shaun (Hinds) who is a movie collector. Shaun is obsessed with collecting rare and out of print movies with one being his unicorn, the fabled House on Cuckoo Lane. Many film buffs believe the film doesn’t exist while others argue that it does and watching it will drive you insane.
His hunt for this elusive title takes him to underground film collectors where he confirms its existence and it warned of the consequences of watching the film. He is able to find the abandoned home where the film was supposedly filmed and finds a copy. He rushes home to watch it only to have his sanity unravel around him. **Spoiler Alert**
Indie horror should always be taken with a grain of salt. These films sometimes have audio and video issues, problems with the editing, and lack experience. The House on Cuckoo Lane did have a little problem with the editing and the audio wasn’t the best but it still delivered a fun experience.
The acting in this one wasn’t the best I’ve seen in an indie venture. A good portion of the films I watch are nothing more than a group of friends in their backyard with a cheap camera and no experience. The acting this this one is on that level. The cast is dedicated to their roles but their lack of experience is clearly evident.
The story for this one is fun in every sense of the word. The film has that shot on video look that I grew up watching so it has that nostalgia factor going for it. Hinds’ character Shaun is very relatable. As a movie collector I often find myself putting my safety to the side to go to sketchy areas looking for movies.
With that being said, the story is very similar to the Masters of Horror episode Cigarette Burns director by the man himself, John Carpenter. In the episode we follow a young man (Norman Reedus) as he searching for an obscure movie that is said to have caused mass panic and hysteria the only time it was ever played. Though both stories share similarities, The House on Cuckoo Lane still has a fun story and delivers a fun time.
Finally, the film does have a few on screen kills but they are easily forgettable. The scenes make great use of atmosphere and imagery but lack the gore most expect from indie horror flicks. This is clearly lacking due to budget. Overall, The House on Cuckoo Lane is a great watch and fans of no budget cinema should really add this one into their Halloween rotation. The film may not be centered around the holiday but it is still a fun watch to get in the holiday spirit.