There aren’t many things my wife and I enjoy more than a good horror flick. So it only made sense for us to document our viewing pleasures here on Mangled Matters and offer up some insight on the films that tend to highlight our date nights. Whether we are watching them from the comfort of our own couch or sitting in the back row at our local theater, we will be presenting to you our honest to goodness reviews from both gender perspectives whenever the heck we see fit!
Tonight’s feature film – House of Manson, the story of (you guessed it) Charles Manson and his rise to maniacal power and fall behind bars. Directed by Brandon Slagle and starring Ryan Kiser, Devanny Pinn, Tristan Risk and Reid Warner, just to name a few of an all-around solid cast, let’s see if this film gave us the chills or lulled us to sleep.
KH: This film could have used a little more back story to Manson’s growing up. For those hearing this story for the first time, like myself, an introduction to his uncle who shaped his thinking as well as his first wife, who only made a very short appearance in the film, would have been helpful.
JH: I agree. As someone who knew a fair amount about the Manson story, there were a few parts that could have been fleshed out a bit better. I would have liked to have seen a few more minutes dedicated to exactly what made young Charlie the person he grew up to be.
KH: While definitely an independent film, the acting was pretty good. The costumes were very accurate for the time.
JH: Ryan Kiser (Truth or Dare, Bigger Than The Beatles) is a convincing Charles Manson look-alike who drove the film. I particularly thought he looked like Manson’s doppleganger towards the end of the film, with his wild hair and those crazy eyes.
KH: Kiser definitely fit the part – not just with the looks but also with his personality. Manson was a very charismatic guy and Kiser really did a good job of portraying that trait. Manson displayed tenderness to his “family” in real life, which was very well displayed by Kiser. Like Manson, Kiser had the ability to win over seemingly any woman he came into contact with.
JH: I wasn’t a fan of the music at certain parts of the film, particularly the modern punk music playing during scenes from the 60’s. But considering that is one of my biggest issues with this film, that’s saying something.
KH: Yeah, there were some scenes where the music didn’t fit. The film would have felt more realistic if music from that era – hippie, peace and love-type shit – would have been used.
JH: I felt the production value on this film was strong throughout. There was definitely good detail put into the sets and the work behind the camera.
KH: The use of lighting was really highlighted during a particularly intense scene between Charlie and his “family”. The glowing white light behind Charlie reinforced that he was seen as God to these people and they looked to him for direction.
KH: Overall, I’d give this film a solid B grade. I enjoyed it from start to finish. I’m looking forward to director Brandon Slagle’s next feature.
JH: I agree with your grade. The issues I had with House of Manson can easily be attributed to it being an indie film, and I thought the movie was interesting from beginning to end. This film did not, in fact, lull me to sleep, so it gets a few extra bonus points since I was on my couch and quite comfy! (laughs)