By Dr. Zaius
Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 at 9:00 pm
At Granny’s House DVD | VOD
Written and directed by Les Mahoney
Starring Bill Oberst, Jr, Rachel Alig, Glenda Morgan Brown, Les Mahoney Vagabond Entertainment
Release date: May 24, 2016
At Granny’s House is what happens when a female Dexter runs an Airbnb. Eager to give up all responsibility for his elderly mother, a man hires her a full-time live-in caretaker. Rebecca (Rachel Alig) is young and beautiful. Her resume includes a variety of odd jobs including IT work, and working in a mortuary. Granny (Gloria Morgan Brown) is hesitant and skeptical. She thinks Rebecca was hired by her son for her looks. Granny’s house is an old fashioned multi-level home. Rebecca is offered a room upstairs, but decides to move into the spacious basement. Again, this draws looks of skepticism. Despite this, Rebecca wins her over and they develop a strange but real friendship. In a different world, this is the beginning of a wonderful comedy about two women from different generations forming a lifelong bond. In writer/director Les Mahoney‘s world, this is the setup for a bizarre, seductive, and violent horror film.
Soon Rebecca comes to Granny with an offer that can be both fun and lucrative. With just the two of them in the house alone, they should sign up to myfreebed.com, an Airbnb-type website that allows Granny to meet new people passing through their small town. Again, reluctant at first, Granny agrees and soon they get their first guest, a young man who’s just happy to be there. Soon more guests arrive but they are distant, self-absorbed, and tech-obsessed. Rebecca is not pleased. Mahoney uses very subtle but effective musical cues and Alig conveys a quiet madness in her eyes. The truth about Rebecca rears its head as she starts using her old mortuary skills to murder annoying house guests with embalming fluid. Then the Steiner family arrives.
The Steiners are Linda (Laura Lee) and Ted (Les Mahoney himself). He is happy to be there and is instantly interested in Rebecca. Linda spends her time tapping away at her phone, ignoring the room. It’s here the film shows its twist. We go from serial killer movie to psycho couple as Ted joins Rachel in a murderous sexcapade, all with Granny upstairs seemingly innocent of all things below. Mahoney definitely gives off a Henry: Portrait of Serial Killer vibe, as that guy who just needs the casual push into utter deviant lunacy.
The movie ventures into Psycho territory as a rogue private investigator shows up. You may recognize Boarstag (Bill Oberst Jr.) from his 160 credited roles as listed on IMDb. I won’t spoil things, but the film ends with yet another twist that had me laughing.
At Granny’s House is a quiet little thriller that exceeded my expectations. Les Mahoney has over 70 acting credits, but this was his first full-length feature film as a director and you can certainly see his influences. While it does feel in some of the acting and editing like a direct-to-DVD type horror movie, the music, subtlety, and a terrific performance from Rachel Alig rise it up above those types. Alig was terrific, creating a new-age psycho I feel people will actually identify with. Funny enough, after getting the “Arbogast” (Martin Balsam’s private detective in Psycho) vibe from Boarstag, I read on IMDb that Mahoney is a huge Hitchcock fan, and that was one of his many references to the great director. AND Boarstag is an anagram of Arbogast!
You can check out At Granny’s House on DVD or through Amazon’s VOD (Prime subscribers can watch it for free).