Open House (1987)

This poster is far better than the film. It looks like an R.L. Stine novel I would have loved as a teen. (source)

This film heralds the genesis of a new tag on the site ‘so you don’t have to’. As in ‘I watched it so you don’t have to’.

Woo boy.

I found this through the Wikipedia article on BDSM in film, which doesn’t say what or how much kink is in any given piece of…cinema. I’ll watch anything for a kink element (except Takashi Miike) and report back so you can decide if it’s worth your time/caters to your kink.

If your kink is terrible B movies (not even so-bad-it’s-good) from the mid-80s, then here you go. The kink quotient is negligible—there’s one very brief scene where a sleazeball character is put in a dog collar and is about to have a scene with a female Dominant. It’s not a hot scene by any stretch of the imagination.

The ‘plot’.

A serial killer is murdering, rather gruesomely, real estate agents who are showing expensive houses. Adrienne Barbeau (yes, really) plays the head of a firm of agents.

Meanwhile, there’s a radio psychologist named Dr David Kelley (Joseph Bottoms) who begins getting calls from a person he suspects to be the killer. David and Adrienne are in a relationship, but it’s supposed to be a secret for some reason I can’t recall. I didn’t take notes when watching this one like usual because it’s difficult to do so when you’re rolling your eyes through the back of your head.

Barbeau’s arch-nemesis in the real estate trade regularly sabotages her properties. We’re supposed to think he’s the serial killer.

The radio psych cooperates with the cops to tap his line for when the killer calls back and worries about his woman and blah blah who cares; I wasn’t emotionally involved with the characters for one second and didn’t care if a T-Rex came through the ceiling and ate all of them.

The effects are terrible. The camera angles are terrible. The lighting is… what it is. I mean, you could see everyone… unfortunately. The acting is the best it can be for the writing, which is…dreadful.

And the music. It was the 80s. The synthesizers. Oh, the synthesizers.

This is what I want to show these kids who think the 80s was the best decade ever. ‘No. It was more like this. These were the clothes. This was the hair.’ (Oh god. The hair.) ‘You weren’t there, kids, you don’t know.’

Ms Barbeau. You’re so much better than this. I know your mortgage was due or something so I get it. Or they sold it to you in a way that made it sound better than it was, so no hard feelings. I think you know, though. Right? I’m sorry. I’m sure we’re all sorry.

I only recommend this if you’re in love with Barbeau (no nudity on her part, if that’s what you’re looking for), you have a thing for just plain bad B-movies from the 80s, or you are committed to seeing every second of kink in every film ever made.

0/5 Spare yourself. Time is fleeting.

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