A STALKER IN THE HOUSE (2021) Reviews and release news

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‘She was nice to the wrong guy’
A Stalker in the House is a 2021 American thriller about a young woman who uses an online dating service and is stalked by an admirer.

Written and directed by Jared Cohn (Deadlock; SwimShark SeasonFast and Fierce: Death RaceAlien PredatorHalloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill!Devil’s DomainHold Your Breath). Produced by Jared Cohn (executive producer) and Nicholas Ryan.

The movie stars Veronika Issa (Devil’s Triangle; Party from Hell; Asteroid-a-Geddon; Fast and Fierce: Death Race), Jack Pearson (Alien Conquest; Shark Season; Fast and Fierce: Death Race), Nick Ryan (The Pining), Jared Cohn, Michael DeVorzon (Deadlock; Alien Conquest; Fast and Fierce: Death Race) and Scout Taylor-Compton (An Intrusion; Star Light; Halloween 2007).

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Plot:
Jen (Veronika Issa) is single and looking to find her match with online dating. She connects with Mike (Jack Pearson), who appears handsome and charming. But some things are too good to be true, and all is not what it seems.

When he becomes aggressive Jen pushes away and tries to avoid him, however, Mike has other ideas. Obsessed, he does not intend to let Jen go so easily and now she is in a fight for her life…

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Review:
I am occasionally full of good ideas – genius ones, as young people like to say. For example, let us assume that the creators of A Stalker in the House approached me out of nowhere, begging me to somehow save their picture. I would think it over a tick and then tell them simply, “Change the title. It should be called Incel from Hell.” Really, that might do it.

Minus my enhancement, of course, filmmaker Jared Cohn’s low-budget thriller is a regrettably straightfaced and irony-free throwback to the 1990s mini-genre of would-be psychological thrillers that were especially a la mode thanks to the box-office blockbuster success of Fatal Attraction (give points to Single White Female, The Stepfather and a few others who were more leaders than followers). These sadly formulaic stories centred on murderously manipulative lunatics, driven by lust/envy/revenge obsessions, insinuating themselves into victims’ lives and often getting away with a ridiculous amount of mayhem until receiving comeuppance in the last reel. Collectively they become known as the “from hell” movies.

A partial accounting: The Ex (ex-wife from hell), The Temp (co-worker from hell), The Fiance (ex-suitor from hell), One Good Turn (long-lost-old-army-buddy from hell), even a genre parody called Hexed (I’m not even using the IMDb for this list; you could doubtless call up many more). I think Incel from Hell would pretty much make A Stalker in the House sound up to date and almost fun. Though I would still advise the filmmakers to grab register receipts and be well out of town before the audience wises up halfway through.

The narrative is the usual from-hell routine. Lovesick Mike (Jack Pearson) is domineering, parasitic, jealous and lethally narcissistic, never more so when he wants to get raunchy with women, which is always. In opening moments a fed-up girlfriend tells him she’s through; he summarily kills her.  One month later. Jen (Veronika Issa), having hit a bad patch with her upscale doctor-lover, tries a matchmaking app that pairs her with none other than Mike, who of course ruins their evening when he tries to force coitus on their first date.

Mike, not accepting rejection, lurks around Jen’s new house, murdering another would-be male friend and anyone else who would obstruct his path to Jen. Following the usual “from hell” narrative arc, Mike has unbelievable success slaying people, disposing of corpses, throwing off suspicion, and even charming Jen after all against her own better judgment. And, to no great surprise, it culminates in the inevitable one-on-one bloody showdown with the heroine. Thus earning the movie points for “feminism,” or so the producers would like you to believe.

While actors play the whole thing with great demo-reel seriousness, the only really disturbing note is that for most of the feature Mike has virtually no backstory or explanation (until a climactic soliloquy about his longstanding mental-illness diagnosis) or sign of any real existence outside of stalking women. That lends a properly disturbing and paranoid element, but not enough to save the feature from being a merely unpleasant suspense/slasher time-passer whose premise saw its sell-by date expire about twenty years ago… But you have to admire that title. Mine, I mean.
Charles Cassady Jr, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“Oh my god, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film so cheesy outside of US TV movies! This film follows the familiar pattern set down by networks like Hallmark and Lifetime and takes it to the nth degree – amplifying the ridiculousness of those films to become an altogether more insane take on obsession and stalking […] It’s just a shame Cohn didn’t take a less-glossy approach, this could’ve been a lot more than a cheesy TV movie wannabe…” Nerdly

Release date:

A Stalker in the House was released on Digital and DVD by Uncork’d Entertainment on November 9, 2021.

Technical details:
84 minutes

Trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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