Plot: Leonard Lake was an infamous serial killer who constructed a hidden torture chamber, where he imprisoned, raped, and murdered numerous people. He tired of women ignoring him or rejecting him, so he planned to capture the ones he liked and turn them into slaves. These women would cook, clean, and of course, have sex whenever Lake so desired. Lake wasn’t alone in this twisted plot however, as he was aided by Charles Ng, who also engaged in the brutal assaults. A home movie camera even filmed a lot of the abuses and Lake would film himself as well, revealing his manifesto and philosophical outlooks. When he was finally caught, Lake killed himself using a cyanide tablet and his cohort Ng was put behind bars. In House on the Hill, we are taken inside the sick world of Lake and Ng.
Entertainment Value: The story of Leonard Lake and Charles Ng seems like a natural for a horror movie, so I was interested in House on the Hill. Given that Lake filmed a lot of his activities, even a found footage project could have been solid. But House on the Hill is a total mess that fails to capture even a hint of the madness, brutality, and twisted vision of these infamous killers. The movie fails to drum even a little authenticity, even moving Lake’s remote torture chamber to a suburban landscape. The attention to detail is null and there’s no real effort made to keep the film’s narrative in line with the real life events, like zero effort. As if that wasn’t enough, the movie fails to deliver on even the shock potential, with no nudity and minimal violence. This ends up being like a musical with no music. The marketing on House on the Hill warns of “graphic content,” but this is a soft ball tossing disaster.
No naked women…in a story about a psycho misogynist who raped and tortured countless women. If you want to show restraint and explore the psychological aspect of Lake, I get that and would love to see that. But here we have no shock, no story, and no accurate vision of the horrific events. Despite being marketed as torture porn, House on the Hill is light on violence and has minimal gore. I mean, the most graphic scene here uses a collapsing knife. Yes, where the blade goes into the handle. That is how “graphic” this movie gets. Lake stabs a woman numerous times, but somehow there is no blood on the blade, just a mess. The writing here is bad in a not fun way, with the performances also along those lines. Not only is House on the Hill not crazy or graphic, it is a fully neutered experience.
Overall Insanity: 0/10