Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Model House

When was the last time anything good came from social media in the movies? Pretty much never and this one is not about to be the first. A group of hyper-online models want to enjoy a brainless night off between shoots, but they are interrupted by two cyber-stalking IRL-home invaders in director-screenwriter Dave Pike’s Model House, which releases this Friday in theaters and on-demand.

Not only did Zoe just land her first really high-profile shoot, she also gets to stay in the luxurious “model house” the night after—and she did it all without being a slave to her Instagram. Frankly, it seems like there must be some secret in her backstory that makes her so averse to social media, but Pike never bothers to explain what that might be. Zoe definitely seems to have bad luck, having sprained her ankle during the shoot, but her relative modesty makes her prime “final girl” material.

The rest of her housemates could never survive an 80’s slasher movie. The outlook for them here is not great either. After generating bad karma for an evening, they find themselves the victims of a violent home invasion. The masked Thomas and his influencer-obsessed girlfriend Annie intend to hold them hostage over the night, so they can monetize the models’ social media accounts, for their own benefit. Collecting the models’ phones, they post links to a phony memorial fund supposedly honoring another model who died during the prologue. Of course, the money will be funneled to their off-shore account.

Unfortunately, things get messy when Annie forces the models to get more revealing, to boost donations. Soon, the masks start falling, which has ominous implications for the models.

There are several recognizable horror movies regulars in
Model House, but they cannot elevate Pike’s unremarkably blah story. Frankly, Model House is so tepid and forgettable, it is not worth getting worked up over. It cannot even be described as a bad movie. Rather, it is underwhelming and disposable, which is arguably worse.

Scout Taylor-Compton often brings a lot of refreshing attitude and energy to B-movies, but she is wasted as Annie, especially since she spends a good deal of the film wearing her creepy serial killer mask. At least Kyra Santoro, Hailee Keanna Lautenbach, and Priscilla Huggins Ortiz are mildly entertaining vamping it up as three more experienced models. Unfortunately, Cory Anne Roberts’ Zoe is so nice, she’s boring.

Honestly, the titular house does not seem sufficiently opulent to be considered a meaningful perk for professional swimwear models. It looks like an overpriced Airbnb that is usually available for booking. It is not great, but if you get stuck watching it, it will be over soon and you will probably never think abut it again. Not recommended,
Model House opens in theaters this Friday (4/5), including the Mission Grove Galaxy in Riverside.