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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 27, 2023



KILLER HOUSES are a favorite material for horror flicks, like “Amityville Horror”, “Haunting of Hill House”, “The Conjuring”, “The Changeling” and other movies about haunted homes. Now comes “Margaux”, and this is a different kind of a haunted house.

“Margaux” is the name of a smart house in a remote, isolated location.

It is like a smart phone where you can give voice commands and, like Siri, it obeys you. 

Disney has made a TV series like this more than 20 years ago, “Smart House”, about a computerized home, but “Margaux” seems more like a gory slasher film where the luckless characters die gruesomely one by one. 

The opening scene shows a man getting out of the swimming pool and then sitting down on a massage chair. He then instructs Margaux to give him a hard massage.

The house starts pinching and squeezing him firmly, getting harder and harder until his head explodes, much to the horror of his frightened girlfriend who cannot do anything about it. 

It’s quite an effective way to establish the terrifying things that Margaux is capable of doing. 

The main characters are then introduced, a group of graduating college students, all played by unknowns who are likely to remain so.  They rent the smart house ala-Air BnB, without knowing it has a highly advanced Artificial Intelligence system.

The gang includes Hannah (Madison Pettis), a computer wizard; Drew (Jedidiah Goodacre), a handsome athlete; oversexed couple Devon (Jordan Buhat) and Kayla (Phoebe Miu) who like bondage and kinky sex; Clay (Richard Harmon), a stoner who looks so much older than the rest of the group; and Lexi (Vanessa Morgan), Drew’s influencer friend who joins them at the last minute when Drew is now obviously more attracted to Hannah.

The gang is initially thrilled by the smart house that is designed to cater to their every need.

It offers not only luxurious accommodations but also amazing personalized service with the help of robotic arm extensions that look like tentacles. 

The house is really designed to give the guests anything they ask for, like marijuana for Clay and a veritable room for kinky sex for the very horny Kayla and Devon. 

This makes the house look like the perfect getaway for city folks like them, without their knowing that the house will use their well furnished room to murder them.

The concepts of how the guests are tormented and killed are quite imaginative. And they are executed with CGI wizardry. 

All of the guests seem delighted and fascinated, except for Hannah, who intuitively senses something off and icky about Margaux.

She rejects the idea of giving her cellphone to the house, and it later on proves to be a good decision since it is actually Margaux’ way of gaining access to their online data records and then controlling all of them to prepare them for slaughter.

Margaux has well planned to eliminate all her tenants and time soon begins to run out for the group. 

The movie uses fantasy technology, but in a slasher film premise. The house exudes a special milky liquid that can come up with scary exact clones of the guests to make them veritable doppelgangers. 

At the start, the movie succeeds in delivering some perversely enjoyable wicked violence as it introduces the seemingly invincible powers of the AI house. 

But along the way, it gets lost as it dawns on you that the evil moves of the house are all unbelievable nonsense and just plain bonkers. 

The beleaguered tenants try their best to outsmart the sinister AI house in order to survive their savage ordeal with it. 

But the movie peters out instead of building up to a thrilling climax and conclusion. 

To begin with, most of the characters in the movie are not worth cheering for, so when this serial killer of a house starts knocking them off, we feel that we don’t really care for them and they can all die, for all we care.