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In 1996, in the Balkans, the population of a small town is slaughtered by a militia under the command of the inhuman Goran that abducts young girls for prostitution in a brothel owned by the cruel Viktor. The deaf Angel that witnessed the execution of her mother has a weird birth mark on the face and Viktor chooses her to housework; to put makeup and drug the girls for the clients; and cleaning them up after the brutal encounters. Angel also sneaks between the walls and ventilation ducts during the night. Angel befriends the girl Vanya that knows the language of the deaf. When Goran returns to the house with his men, Angel witnesses one of them raping and killing Vanya and she revenges her new friend killing the man. Now Goran and his men are hunting her down and she is trapped in the house. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Later in the film, when Dimitri attempts to strangle Angel with his belt, she stabs him with a syringe loaded with heroin. He almost immediately reels back, loses coordination, and begins vomiting. The first issue with this is the method of injection. For heroin (or any drug) to have a near-immediate effect when injected, it must be intravenously (IV) injected, i.e., directly into a blood vein. With Angel jabbing the needle randomly into his leg like she does, the chances of hitting a vein directly or hitting and not going through are slim; more likely, the needle will pierce muscle tissue and be injected intramuscularly (IM), a method which will result in a much longer and milder onset of effects.
Also, assuming the dose Angel draws into the needle is comparable to what she normally gives the girls, it likely would not effect a large man the same way it would the smaller girls; specifically, Dimitri probably would not have experienced vomiting and coordination loss to the point where he couldn't stand straight. However, it might also be assumed that the girls have been there a while and have developed a tolerance for the drug, resulting in a larger dose being necessary. If this were the case, the dose might be enough to affect Dimitri in such a manner, assuming he doesn't use heroin on a regular basis himself. See more »
One day... one day things will be different. We can go away from this place. This is why I do all of this. So we can be together.
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The Seasoning House of the title is a Balkans Brothel, it's 1996 and young girls are being kidnapped during military attacks and sold to the owner of the Seasoning House. One such girl is Angel, a death and mute sufferer who the house owner takes a shine to and uses her as his assistant. When Angel strikes up a friendship with one of the girls, it is the catalyst for violence unbound.
A thoroughly bleak and distressing viewing experience, but in turn it's also bold and brilliant film making. Debut director Paul Hyett paints a grim portrait of an all too real problem in certain parts of the world, but thankfully he never once lets the material slip into exploitation territory.
The brothel is unsurprisingly an utterly desperate place, rife with squalor and abject misery. The windows are boarded up with crooked pieces of wood, the beds are filthy, the walls stained with years of dirty grime and the after effects of vile human actions. The girls are battered and bruised, chained to the beds and injected with drugs to make them compliant towards anything the human monsters so wish to do to them.
For practically 70 minutes we the viewers are holed up in this awful place along with the girls. Daylight is only briefly glimpsed through the window shards, we can smell the fear along with the dankness, and claustrophobia is rife. Angel (a brilliant Rosie Day) is our conduit as Hyett builds relationships between her and the two other main characters. Viktor (Kevin Howarth) the ruler of this vile kingdom, and inmate Vanya (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), the latter of which is deeply touching and superbly crafted by those involved.
Film then switches in tone after some truly awful scenes have paved the way for what transpires in the final third of the story. This switch to more conventional horror cinema has proved divisive, but the way Angel moves about the house, how she finds fortitude, is fascinating, and she has well and truly earned our utmost support as she seeks to erase some dastardly evil wrongs from history (headed by a suitably scary Sean Pertwee). This is not a cheap rape revenger movie, it's a survivalist horror, and some of the horrors inherent in The Seasoning House are tough to stomach, but necessary to balance the art and the reality. Stunning. 9/10
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