Review: The Seasoning House is a stomach turning tale of revenge

The Seasoning House marks the first directorial effort by renowned British special effects artist Paul Hyett. You may not recognize his name, but you will no doubt be familiar with his brilliant special effects/make-up work found in films such as The Descent, The Woman in Black, Doomsday, Eden Lake and so much more. It was only a matter of time before Hyett took a seat behind the lens and with The Seasoning House being his feature film debut he managed to find a way to leave his stamp on the horror genre. The film follows deaf and mute Angel, who is abducted and ditched in a grim Balkan brothel. The ex-soldier who runs the place, Viktor, puts her to work tending to the other women, but when she sparks a friendship with one of the women, things take a turn for the violent.

The first five minutes of the film open with such brutality and nastiness that you will know right away if this film is for you as you see these innocent young women get tossed into hell on earth. I know a lot of people would be hesitant going into a film with the subject matter that this one deals with, but Hyett handles it more carefully than you might imagine. Major credit goes out to him for being able to tell such a nasty story in a way that makes it very watchable.

The first half of the film is its strongest point as it takes its time building up the characters and subjecting you to the terrible conditions these girls are living in. Rosie Day turns in an unforgettable performance as the film’s hero, Angel. When the main character is deaf and doesn’t speak a word, you need someone with the acting chops like Day to carry the character’s emotion. She does a phenomenal job showing the desperation in her character and the painful expressions on her face are like a knife to the heart. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of Rosie Day in the future, and hopefully taking on the horror genre once again because she was a real treat to watch.

Hyett is no joke when it comes to giving horror fans what they want to see in terms of gore. With such an extensive background in special effects it should come to no surprise that The Seasoning House is riddled with some stomach turning blood shed. The film is down right brutal at times and certainly isn’t for the feint of heart, but If you can stomach a solid dose of the red stuff then you’ll surely find a lot to like about film.

While the film’s first half shows a ton of promise, it starts to flatline in the second half as there are just too many convenient plot set-ups that take you from a very real and terrifying situation to something that feels like any other horror movie out there. Despite a weak and unconvincing final act, the film does have many great moments that will keep most horror fans pleased throughout. The Seasoning House is a brutal and thrilling directorial debut from Paul Hyett that will have you shuddering one moment and on the edge of your seat the next. I hope that this is just a stepping stone for much bigger and bloodier things to come from Hyett because he certainly has the talent to turn out some amazing horror films.


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If you are ever attacked by a gorilla just sit back and relax while you enjoy the once in a life time feeling of your limbs being ripped off.

18 thoughts on “Review: The Seasoning House is a stomach turning tale of revenge

  1. I’m hesitant. You say he handles the subject well, but you also say the first five minutes are brutal. As you inferred, certain types of violence are harder to watch (IMO). I find it way easier to see Aliens tear people apart then to watch gang rapes and violence against children….

    1. That’s understandable but it’s really not as bad as you would think. The first few minutes are pretty rough but most of the damage after that is done by Angel.

  2. I heard of The Seasoning House when I read about it in Fango and put it on my ‘watch list’… I do want to see this, but the other reviews I read (from other reviewers I trust) said the same thing, that the wheels start to come off in the last act and then it sort of trundles to a close with no payoff. Is the part that DOES work solid enough to make it worth a watch? I recommend the Fango piece BTW, the poor lead actress (who I have heard universal raves over) and not only never been in a horror movie, she had never SEEN one, and Hyett started her off with Martyrs. Think maybe he could have worked up to that one a little, but who know, schedule might’ve been tight…

    1. Wow that’s one hell of a horror movie to start off with! I hope she shows up in more horror films from now on, she was great in The Seasoning House and a lot of fun to watch.

      That’s exactly right, the wheels certainly do come off in the second half but the first half is done very well and has some pretty intense moments. The major problem with the second half isn’t that it’s necessarily bad, it’s just done is such a way that it totally sucks you out of everything they built up in the beginning. Definitely give it a shot though, there’s a lot to like about the film and it’s more or less just a taste of what Hyett has in store with his future films. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Cecile De France also had never done a horror movie before “High Tension”. I don’t think she had seen many, either. I just added this to my to-see list. I will try to give it a watch within the next couple of weeks and drop you a comment back.

      1. Okay, I just watched this and thought it was pretty good. I think I agree with Isaacs that the second half was better than the first; the first few minutes was good, but after a while the first act started to drag to the point you wonder if anything is ever going to happen; then once things got rolling it shifted into a traditional horror as you stated, and that’s when I thought the film became intriguing; I liked the intensity of the chase. There were some questionable occurrences in the second half, but nothing bad enough to ruin it for me. I think the two villains were both very good, and quite believable, and make the movie worth the watch. Good review!

      2. Glad you enjoyed it, man! Yea it’s definitely a good flick with some very cool action scenes. I liked all the build up and the epic knife fight, that was cool.

    1. Glad you liked it! It’s intense as hell and Rosie Day was awesome. First half was excellent, second half was a dud for me. Still though, it’s a very good flick and a fun watch!

      1. I’ve gotten very claustrophobic as I’ve gotten older so that scene in the pipe REALLY made me squirm…

      2. I think I went into this thinking it was going to be some sort of preachy and boring piece on the state of European sex trade and found a very entertaining and bloody action horror. Loved it.

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