Film Review: Girl HouseCollege girls earning some extra cash working for a porn site are targeted by a psycho killer in this formulaic but slickly executed thriller that should entertain undemanding genre buffs.
It looks as though pretty co-ed Kylie (Ali Cobrin) is going to have to decide between completing her education and helping out her divorced, financially challenged mom, until her prayers are answered by web mogul Gary (James Thomas), who recruits her for his 24/7 voyeur-o-rama site, "Girl House." The concept is simplicity itself: Horny guys pay to watch attractive, approachable-seeming girls living in a cozy, suburban-average split-level house (whose location, probably needless to say, is a fiercely guarded secret), as they shower, study, cook, do laundry and, if the goofy peeping Toms are lucky, get busy with their boy- or girlfriends.
Gary, who proudly calls himself "the Hugh Hefner of the 21st century," assures the nervous Kylie—who's the farthest thing from a natural-born exhibitionist—that Girl House is "pretty much the Fort Knox of websites”: Would-be stalkers are kept at bay by elaborate security protocols ranging from physical guards to untrackable IP addresses and the girls are always in charge of setting their own online boundaries. No one has to do anything that makes her feel uncomfortable.
Of course, it goes without saying that there's a flaw in the system. If there weren't, the creepy psycho who calls himself "Loverboy" wouldn't be able to slip past Gary's security measures and there wouldn't be a movie, now would there?
For all its au courant posturing, Girl House doesn't even cut it as old wine in a new bottle. It won't take serious horror buffs (the only demographic likely to be interested) long to recall that Halloween: Resurrection and My Little Eye (both from 2002 and the latter starring a then-unknown Bradley Cooper) use not-dissimilar scenarios to set up a slashing gallery's worth of attractive young folks for equally messed-up slaughter. That's not to say there's anything wrong with back-to-basics horror, only that there's a difference between simplicity and simply not bothering. Girl House can't be bothered to make a little extra effort.
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