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"House of Temptation": The Low-Budget Horror of Christian Desire 

Tuesday, Oct 28 2014
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You should never mention a good movie in the middle of your bad movie, and Doc Zee's House of Temptation seems to violate that rule early on, as teenaged protagonist Johnnie (Julian Larach) talks about how proud he is to have grown up in Bodega Bay, where his favorite director Alfred Hitchcock shot The Birds. And while House of Temptation is a micro-budgeted backyard production with a filmmaking craft only a notch above the similarly Birds-homaging Birdemic: Shock and Terror, it has such heart that calling it "bad" would almost be bullying. After the conservative church elders kick him out for being too inclusive of queers and minorities, pastor Jeremiah (Chris Pflueger) reluctantly moves his wife Annette (Shelley MacKay) and Johnnie into a spooky old house owned by sexy-but-evil parishioner, Maya (Jena Hunt), who seduces Jeremiah and unravels the family. House of Temptation means well, particularly for a faith-based horror movie (notably, while the church punishes Jeremiah for being progressive, the filmmakers do not), and between this and the far more polished Love and Demons, Pflueger is becoming the go-to local actor to play men manipulated by demons. House of Temptation also has an interesting score and sound design, and really, you can't be too hard on a movie with an editor named "Rock Hemlock."

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Sherilyn Connelly

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