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Krazy House Sundance Film Review: Brutal Horror Comedy

The Nick Frost-starring Krazy House is a brutal horror comedy film based around a sitcom that could only come from nightmares. 

Krazy House opens just like any 90s family sitcom would. A catchy theme song, over dramatic acting that plays to a studio audience, and slapstick humor. Little by little, you can start to tell that this is obviously not an ordinary sitcom. Someone drops the F bomb, the slapstick violence starts to sound a little too brutal, and three Russian criminals show up at the family’s front door. What initially looked like a wholesome time turns out to be one of the most brutal films I’ve seen in recent years

The idea of taking a known family concept and turning it on its head has been done plenty of times before. Most recently, there was Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, and WandaVision even took the same concept, a family sitcom, and did something completely original. While the plot of Krazy House is intriguing, the execution of it is way too crazy to be enjoyable. The madness starts when the family of Russians come to the house to help Bernie (Nick Frost) clean up one of the many messes he has caused. The Russians then begin to tear apart the house, which starts a downward spiral into madness that is purely unpredictable. 

I love films that take big narrative swings, as long as there is still solid character work. My biggest issue with Krazy House is that there is little to no reasoning for any of the characters’ actions. It seems that this was done intentionally, to leave some type of mystery for a big reveal in the third act, but there is so much chaotic energy that you’re too exhausted by the third act to care. Also, the reveal only explains some of the character’s actions, not all. 

Sometimes there are films that are so bonkers from the start that you don’t have to understand everything to enjoy them, because the viewing experience is so much fun. Unfortunately, Krazy House has a solid beginning, where the filmmakers want you to care for this family before the bad events occur, but everyone ends up acting so deranged that nothing makes sense

Nick Frost, Alicia Silverstone, Gaite Jensen, and Walt Klink holding a rifle in the dark in the film Krazy House by Steffen Haars
Nick Frost, Alicia Silverstone, Gaite Jensen, and Walt Klink appear in Krazy House by Steffen Haars and Flip van der Juil, an official selection of the Midnight program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Krazy House also attempts to be a satire, but I couldn’t find a strong argument anywhere in the film. During the beginning, we realize that Bernie’s wife (Alicia Silverstone) is the breadwinner of the family, while he cooks and cleans the house. There seems to be some type of tension in this role reversal of traditional gender norms, especially in sitcoms, but nothing is done with it. There is also a lot of religious imagery, especially since Bernie is a devout Christian. While the tension between Bernie and his religious views certainly have an explosive climax, there was nothing deeper than a surface level anti-religion message present. 

Even if the narrative of Krazy House is too much for me, I do have to commend directors Steffen Haars and Flip van der Kuil for their uncompromising vision. I have seen few films that are willing to push audiences to their limit the way this film does. From the brutal and over the top violence to the immensely dark sense of humor, the director’s personalities are all over this film, which is quite respectable. 

Overall, I think that there is an audience for Krazy House, but I am certainly not a part of it. This seems like a perfect addition to someone’s “midnight movie” collection as it is not for the faint of heart. If unpredictable violent horror comedies are your cup of tea, give Krazy House a shot, it will surely be an unforgettable viewing experience above all else.

Krazy House premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Read all our Sundance reviews!

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