Krazy House (2024)

Krazy House Review

Krazy House

“Krazy House,” a tongue-in-cheek Dutch production, starts in the mode of a late ’80s/early ’90s American family sitcom and then quickly transitions to a midnight splatterfest. Directors Steffen Haars and Flip van der Kuil proffer subversion that feels conceptually ancient (in part because it is) and utterly lifeless in practice to such an extent that to describe it feels somehow against the social compact not to dissuade potential viewers from going anywhere near this thing.

The father of said sitcom is Bernie Christian (Nick Frost), whose name suggests his role as the head of the show’s nuclear unit is intended as a pointed throwback. He’s an unsuccessful standup comedian who does children’s parties for beer money while Eva (Alicia Silverstone), his corporate-exec wife, brings home the bacon. They’re joined by scientist son Adam (Walt Klink) and shut-in daughter Sarah (Gaite Jansen), both of whom round out the cast without adding much in terms of plot or thematic development. The non-existent show opens with an original musical theme song, includes studio audience laughter but its send-up isn’t confined by genre, at least at first.

Eva watches football on TV; it’s between the Yankee Saints and Soviet Devils. Later during this sequence, a withered Russian gangster named Pjotr (Jan Bijvoet) shows up at their door with his Adidas-tracksuit-wearing sons Dmitri (Chris Peters) and Igor (Matti Stooker), offering to clean up after Bernie’s many household messes. Instead of fixing his broken kitchen sink, though, they start tearing apart walls throughout the house. And they introduce chaos bit by bit: drugs, alcohol; even Dmitri’s sexual allure which seems particularly effective on young Sarah. These Cold War-era fears of “reds” and degeneracy rattle the reliable fabric of the family sitcom as played out in nondescript medium shots. Bernie also begins to have macabre visions, whose aesthetic presentation departs from the show’s flatly-lit 4:3 aspect ratio (hinting at something darker [and bloodier] to come).

The trouble starts early with “Krazy House,” when it lays its handful of jokes and observations on the table within its opening scenes. The in-world show isn’t funny enough to justify leaving a ton of dead air between gags despite having canned laughter; maybe that lack of success is intentional, but it’s awkward either way. And the Russian “invaders” who upset the status quo are a development that runs out of steam pretty much right away. “Too Many Cooks” was 11 minutes long for reason; contrasting a squeaky-clean American family sitcom with blood and guts becomes obvious fast.

In this case, though, it takes an excruciatingly long time for “Krazy House” to get there hints via Bernie’s versions aren’t particularly rooted in character either. (There are brief reaction shots throughout hinting at lingering insecurities within the American male psyche.) The movie has loose threads usually brief reaction shots that are quickly dropped but they don’t amount to any kind of thematic throughline so much as random gestures toward cultural parody without foundation or specificity.

In the end, when movies explore family comedies’ dark side of sex and violence swept under the carpet, it fails to be mean enough or perverted enough. It is nothing but a prank that comes from an ignorant mind about culture being made fun of: childish at its best; at its worst – they show total lack of understanding in any way shape or form about what they are trying to do with it. American sitcoms are worldwide entertainment products so there’s no reason why filmmakers from all over cannot take on them; however introducing such things like burning crosses or casual gun violence against civilians without taking into account racist hate crimes in America which gave rise to them as well as continued mass shootings there would indicate basic indifference towards cultural images and symbols that these people want to dismantle through their work. All this too rarely amounts up only generalized criticism directed towards religious institutions.

“Krazy House” craves perversion desperately but even its most provocative visual ideas appear weak since they try shocking for shock’s sake yet end up not disturbing anyone specific. The film is boring sleeping pill except perhaps for those actors who give everything they have emotionally speaking while knowing it’s just a trick; unfortunately their labour turns out fruitless.

Watch Krazy House For Free On Gomovies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top