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‘La Casa’ review: Familiar horror premise works thanks to creative production

A scary and unique release from DREAD.

La  Casa is the first horror movie of 2021 from horror label DREAD. The movie is about a police officer who responds to an urgent call for help. When he arrives, he ends up trapped in a cursed house. He must now find a way out. The premise is a basic haunted house story. There is nothing wrong with that since the real sizzle in these types of films is the inner workings of the house. How the protagonist gets there and what is happening takes a backseat to why and how.

One of the things director Jorge Olguin does differently is shoot parts of La Casa in real time. This brings a sense of urgency and claustrophobia that is sometimes missing from these films. The audience is not so much watching a movie as they are observing the events. While not an active participant, the viewer feels like they are actually in the movie.

This also brings a different sort of pace to the horror movie. La Casa is certainly not a slow burn horror, but it also does not move as quickly as most films in the genre. It falls in a weird middle ground that may turn some audiences off. Nevertheless, the movie also manages to set a strong tone. There is a sense of desperation and fear throughout La Casa. Along with the film production, Olguin composed a powerful score. The music adds to the atmosphere of the proceedings.

As the story hints, La Casa follows horror tropes. There are the expected jump scares, ghostly figures standing silent in the background, and strange apparitions in mirrors. Haunted house stories are some of the most popular in horror. La Casa is a great addiction to the sub genre thanks to the music and production. Most importantly, the movie is genuinely scary.

La Casa will be released on VOD January 19 and Blu-ray February 2

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