Treehouse – USA, 2019

Treehouse – aka Into the Dark: Treehouse – is a 2019 American horror feature film written and directed by James Roday (Gravy). The Blumhouse production stars Jimmi Simpson (also in Gravy), Mary McCormack, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Maggie Lawson, Amanda Walsh, Sutton Foster, Stephanie Beatriz, Julianna Guill, Michael Weston, and Cass Bugge.

Plot:

Celebrity chef Peter Rake (Jimmi Simpson) escapes a scandal for a weekend at his family’s isolated vacation home.

However, there are debts to repay and Peter has to learn the lesson that a woman’s place is anywhere that she chooses to be… if he survives.

Reviews:

“What we’re left with is a film that bogs itself down in the third act. The script wants to make a point, or multiple points, about sexual misconduct, repentance, and revenge. Instead, it feels like Roday and cowriter Todd Harthan are content to offer a mishmash of equality and empowerment messages and call it a day. It’s messy and doesn’t come across as sincerely as they probably intended.” Eddie Strait, read more at The Daily Dot

” …Treehouse pulls no punches in its look at the entitled power of brutal men who believe they can do whatever they want to women and get away with it. Women are rising up to take down the patriarchy’s violence. This episode reflects the fears of men today in 2019— the only ones who ought to be afraid are the ones who’ve done horrible things, and it’s telling to see which men are vocal about their fears because you can tell who’s hiding a nasty secret.” C.H. Newell, read more at Father Son Holy Gore

Treehouse is going to lose some viewers through its tone and outcome (not to mention the inevitable label of “#metoo horror”), but it entertains regardless of how well its message lands. Simpson finds wit and humor in his character’s pre-hell existence, the supporting players walk a fine line between playful and threatening, and the film leaves viewers with an emotional punch.” Rob Hunter, read more at Film School Rejects

“Presumably, Treehouse was conceived as the #metoo edition of Into the Dark, but the execution is decidedly questionable. On one hand, most viewers will find themselves identifying with Rake, regardless of their biases, because the film shows events unfolding from his perspective, including some harrowing acts of torture perpetrated by the mystery women.” Joe Bendel, read more at J.B. Spins

“The entire cast is fantastic and really do a great job of drawing you in as you watch this nightmare unfold […] Treehouse is just a bit too strange for me. It becomes a very supernatural story, and while it ties up almost everything at the conclusion, it leaves a few loose ends. It’s certainly worth watching for the excellent cast and the dark humor that Into the Dark is becoming known for, but overall this is one of my least favorite installments in the series.” Mike Mack, Laughing Place

Treehouse shelters the precious connection between simplistic horror and social relevancy. Each twist takes an interesting turn, always maintaining a darkly tongue-in-cheek tone. The primal, ritualistic practice that naturally flows from the mind of a modern-day storyteller keeps a steady, hidden pace, but ultimately brandishes a reveal that is so successfully disarming.” Jessica Rose, read more at Nightmare on Film Street

“If there are good intentions here, with an abuser facing up to his sins, they’re buried under the story, one told in such an ill-conceived, half-assed, and frankly dull way that it can’t help but leave a bad taste in your mouth.” Jacob Oller, read more at Paste

” …there’s a lot to like here. Simpson is a fantastic actor, and Beatriz, McCormack, and Weston are always welcome faces, even if they all feel kind of wasted here (especially Beatriz). Almost every other scene in “Treehouse” gives you that feeling of “Yeah, that’s a good idea, but …” It’s halfway there, which is more than you can say about some of the installments of Into the Dark but less than this story deserves.” Brian Tallerico, read more at RogerEbert.com

Release:

Treehouse was shown on Hulu on March 1st, 2019.

  • Stephanie Beatriz … Elena
  • Nancy Linehan Charles … Agnes
  • Sophia Del Pizzo … Morgan
  • Julianna Guill … Kara Wheeler
  • Mary McCormack … Lilith
  • Jimmi Simpson … Peter Rake
  • Shaunette Renée Wilson … Marie (as Shaunette Renee Wilson)
  • Amanda Walsh … Gwen Rake
  • Michael Weston … Lonnie
  • Kylie Rogers
  • Sutton Foster … Lauren
  • Cass Buggé … Delivery Girl
  • Cyrina Fiallo … Katie
  • Brittini London … Production Assistant

NB, Not to be confused with the 2014 movie Treehouse, directed by Michael Bartlett.

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