By Anthony Wetmore
House of Salem, from the mind of writer, producer and director James Crow, delivers a bizarre and twisted story of a kidnapping gone…right?
Hired by a mysterious party, team leader Jacob gets a hold of young Josh, whisking him away to an uninhabited house to wait for the hefty sum demanded of his parents. All is not as it seems, young Josh is able to hear people, giving him slight hints at how best to survive.
The client is out for much, much more than the ransom, and each of the people Jacob has enlisted in order to complete the job has a part to play in the grander scheme afoot.
Strange eye symbols are etched into the walls, an old VHS player, and other odd spots. The house is empty, but Josh hears children from beyond the walls. Young Nancy, a member of Jacob’s team, has taken to Josh as a mother might. The client, a strange man who speaks through a phone marked with that same eye, is getting anxious and impatient.
The few layers that are there to peel back, are through dialogue and strange occult imagery, revealing the true motive. The film is fast-paced, light on gore, utilizing camera tricks to hide hits and cuts.
There might be some confusion as to what exactly is going on, and the culmination of all this strange activity is perhaps less than expected.
House of Salem nonetheless will keep you rapt with its unique filming style and the stellar performances from young Liam Kelly (Josh) and Jessica Aterton (Nancy).