House of Voices
4 out of 10
7 out of 10
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Virginie Ledoyen as Anna Jurin
Lou Doillon as Judith
Catriona MacColl as Francard
Dorina Lazar as Helenka
Virginie Darmon as Mathilde
Jérôme Soufflet as Daniel
Marie Henry as Marie
Eric Prat as Le responsable des services sociaux
The Making of House of Voices
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
This film was originally released in France in 2004 under the name "Saint Ange". The following is from the DVD cover:
"House of Voices tells the chilling story of a woman who discovers the frightening secrets of an abandoned orphanage. Starring Virginie Ledoyen (The Beach), this film brings a terrifying new look at ghost stories, with a twist ending that is sure to shock you!"
House of Voices is rated R for some nudity and disturbing images.
If I told you this was a ghost movie, what would you expect? Probably some loud noises, creepy spirits popping out, and eerie locations. Well, you'd be correct. House of Voices features all that. If I told you it was a French ghost movie, what would you expect? Probably a weird plot, artsy cinematography, and sex or nudity. Well, you'd be correct again. House of Voices is pretty standard from both respects.
House of Voices is somewhat interesting because it is France's shot at the horror genre. It's a very beautiful film filled with amazing sets, haunting imagery, and eerie moments that stay with you long after the film is over. The movie also relies on sound effects and off-screen frights to scare audiences. However, the story is really weird. After viewing it, I'm still not sure what it was about. I'm unclear as to why Anna Jurin was obsessed with finding the children's spirits. I'm not quite sure what went on in the house to create the spirits in the first place. There are a lot of other things in the movie that didn't make sense, either.
I never saw Virginie Ledoyen in The Beach, but she does leave an impression as Anna Jurin in this movie. At times she looks like a young Geena Davis. At other times she looks like a young Jennifer Garner. Then on other occasions she reminds me of Natalie Portman. In any case, she's certainly beautiful. Anna also has a creepy aura about her as a pregnant teen that is even further magnified by the final moments of the film. None of the other cast members are all that noteworthy.
I would only recommend House of Voices to fans of haunted house films, French films, and fans of Virginie Ledoyen. I didn't think it was scary enough or unique enough to attract any other audiences.
There are two bonus features included on this DVD:
Deleted Scenes – A few deleted scenes are included here. A couple of them give a little more background on the characters. You find out more of where Anna came from. Some of the creepy moments are extended a little longer in the deleted scenes as well.
The Making of House of Voices – This is a nearly hour long feature on the making of the movie. Mainly it's footage shot by cameramen lingering on the sets. There are also interviews with the cast and crew. They show makeup applications, set adjustments, cast members snoozing on the set, and more. It's a very candid look at the making of the movie. It's worth nothing that the documentary is mostly in French with subtitles.
The Bottom Line:
Despite the beautiful cinematography and the attractive leading actress Virginie Ledoyen, House of Voices is a little too weird and not scary enough to make it worth viewing by many audiences.