For Sale by Owner (2006) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
12 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Inner demons haunt the mind
user-122612 November 2006
Premise seemed familiar - serial killer on the loose in a quiet town, woman home alone to find a strange man in her house. But as the story developed, which starts a bit slow, the characters reveal deep inner demons that haunt them. Nice use of flashback and digital effects to show the world in their heads. I was expecting a bit more blood and gore, but found it to be smartly used when needed.

Just when I thought I had figured it out and knew how it would end, it seems to throw that upside down. This is a nice lower-budget indie film from the US that had some surprisingly good acting despite a relatively modest production value. Worth a look.
12 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
doctorgonzo2330 April 2010
I was initially excited to check this film out, but I was sadly disappointed. My girlfriend couldn't even be bother to stay awake for its full duration. I'm rather baffled with all the positive reviews on here at the moment. Perhaps it's not seen wide distribution yet... the rating, however, speaks for itself.

The acting is probably the best thing the movie has going for it, but the dialog they have to work with is stilted and filled with awkward pauses. You do get the feeling though that they were making their best attempts to make a silk purse of a sow's ear, so to speak. There are too few characters to really leave any doubt in your mind about how the film will end (despite well meaning attempts to throw you off the trail) and I would think that most folks would have it figured out after about ten minutes. Coincidently, this is about where my girlfriend fell asleep, although she was still able to guess the correct conclusion on her first try the next day.

I hate to tear down the work of anyone, and it is admirable that this project made it through from script to production and distribution, but there is so much other great independent work out there now in the same vein (all of the After Dark Horror Fest releases, for example) that the bar has been raised and movies like this just won't cut it anymore.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Thin Line Between Sanity and Insanity
claudio_carvalho19 April 2009
In Emeryville, the dwellers are scared with the serial killer that craves the number thirteen on his victims. During a stormy afternoon, the school counselor Sarah (Amanda Brown) allows the insistent real-state agent Andrew Byrd (John Lansch) to stay inside her house while waiting for his ride. Andrew is disputing the custody of his daughter Samara and shows an unbalanced man while having a conversation with Sarah. When the security system agent John Denton (Marc Hustvedt) arrives in the house for maintenance of the alarm system, Sarah feels secure. However, when a mark with 13 is found in one room, Sarah realizes that she is in danger.

"For Sale by Owner" is a theatrical and tense thriller and shows characters in the edge in the thin line between sanity and insanity. The story is developed in a slow-pace and probably that is the reason of the low IMDb User Rating. However the acting is good and despite the last confused twist, I liked this little movie. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "A Casa do Pânico" ("The House of the Panic")
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Dark and Scary, overall worth it
movie-062 December 2006
For Sale By Owner (USA movie), in my opinion, is a very solid thriller, very original in terms of plot, slow-paced but never boring. The storyline was wonderful, and this is something that could happen to people. It kept me on the edge of my couch wanting, sometimes begging to know what comes next.

The movie's wonderful and unexpected twist was a surprise for me and it's done so cleverly that you'll want to revisit the film to see just how the trickery was managed.

All three characters (Sera, John and Andrew), although extremely dark, appear genuine real life characters that lend a physiological element genre making it entertaining to watch.

For Sale By Owner is a spine tingling,frightening thriller that I really enjoyed.!
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another take on it...
horrorchick10125 October 2006
While the story does have holes and the pacing could use a lot of work, I think a lot of the acting made up for what the story was missing. This is definitely not a fast-paced thriller, but rather a dark drama with some interesting plot twists. Although at times it felt like it was dragging on a bit, I thought the acting was superb with the writing the actors had to work with. The "John" character really came alive for me. The character may have been written a little stereotypical, but the actor stood out and made me believe in this guy. On top of it, he was handsome to watch. The cinematography was also impressive for a small scale film. My advice, if you are in the mood for an above mediocre drama/thriller with a few surprises, check out this little indie, you may be pleasantly surprised like me.
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very interesting!
kuncats4 December 2006
I watched this movie late last night (alone) and it really freaked me out. Although, in my opinion, the movie needs to be reclassified as a horror rather than a thriller. The storyline is very unique and extremely realistic. I am not a horror buff but this one grabbed my attention. Although the story develops slowly, the movie never lost my attention. The actors and the cinematographer deed a very good job. The black and white flashback sequences were very disturbing. But as some other viewers already commented, there were some plot holes/things I didn't get. But I am guessing that those questions were done on purpose and the writer wanted to keep a certain degree of ambiguity. Upon reviewing the movie the second time, a lot of questions seem to have been answered very subtly.

Bottom line was, I really enjoyed it, it was creepy and would highly recommend this one to my friends.
9 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
thellers1 January 2008
We were given this film by mistake at the DVD rental shop (under the name 'th13teen' -- we actually wanted the Holly Hunter movie about teenage sex/drug/crime).

This is basically like a student movie. The dialog is stilted and unrealistic, the production values are bordering on non-existent, the music is over-the-top and poorly done, the story makes very little sense and it's all a rather surreal experience in B-movie badness.

It's the kind of film that might be worth watching at 3am on a Sunday morning if you were drunk/stoned and there was nothing else on. Certainly don't bother paying money to see this trash!
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Finely crafted, dark movie
charlesmovies065 December 2006
This is a feminist flick, extremely well done. Wonderful thriller..with a terrific setting... in one rainy night. Just three characters...

Sera Night (Amanda Brown) leaves her home and returns to find a stranger Andrew (John Lansch) in her house. When he refuses to leave is when the roller-coaster ride begins. Sera's life gets further complicated when a third stranger John (Marc Hustvedt) finds himself in the mix.

The movie works on several levels for me. First, the characters. The way their multi-facet personalities are developed is extremely clever. I loved how Lansch goes from being charming and sweet tempered, to cursing and angry the next.The author uses hair-raising flashbacks to reveal very disturbing pasts of some of the other characters. The final flashback gave me the chills The three-person cast puts on a riveting and memorable performance."For Sale By Owner" claims to be a thriller, and lives up to its expectations with a classic surprise ending which is the trademark of almost every good suspense movie ever made.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good flick
wolfhuntsvalue12 April 2007
"For Sale By Owner" is a haunting thriller--from which you assume, trained by recent movies, that it is filled with nerve wreaking tension, eerie flash-backs and extremely disturbing character study. For those who expect episodic, gory, blood and guts ride, this is not your type of movie. On the contrary, it is a clever story in which an atmosphere of dread slowly envelops the characters--too slowly at times.

The film takes place in a house in small-town USA called Emeryville. In this house lives Sera (Amanda Brown) with her husband, Mr. Growstosky. To the house one day, on a stormy afternoon, comes a real-estate agent named Andrew Byrd (John Lansch), who is responding to Mr. Growstosky's call for putting the house for sale on the market.

Caught in the storm of the century and waiting for his ride, Sera reluctantly allows Andrew inside the house. At the same time, a serial killer is on a rampage, killing random victims and marking his kill by carving a number 13 on their chests.

During the course of their conversation, we find out that Andrew is an extremely temperamental person fighting a nasty child custody battle. His personality changes after a few drinks. Sera soon realizes that Andrew does to plan to leave and her life might be in jeopardy.

Just when things begin to take turn for the worst, John Denton (Marc H) shows up at the door in a form of Messiah. Just when Sera starts feeling a bit secured, we learn that John is carrying religious baggage.

The movie's events are such that I must not describe them. Even a hint might give away the game. Of course they are elusive and mysterious, explained first one way and then another.

The director has the patience to create a languorous, suspense filled atmosphere, and Amanda Brown succeeds in convincing me that she is a normal person in a disturbing situation and not just a standard-issue horror movie hysteric. The writing, although not superlative, had me glued to the screen wanting to watch as the drama unfolded.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Nothing special
georgie-3122 October 2006
Don't know why people voted 6 or higher. Very thin story and regular acting. The end of the movie is like many others and a little bit childish:" Oh John, where are you?". I've never heard that before.

The story is also like "swiss-cheese" (a lot of holes). You can't really figure out what's it about. Of course you can guess what's it about, but the plot is very poor and doesn't give the answers. Not even a thought for consideration, but a complete gap.

And I didn't like the way it was shot. One big close-up. I don't like it, but that's just subjective. Very little music. And the 'freak-out' moments were funny. I didn't even shake my glass of Coke. A little bit different then for instance The Ring (I didn't sleep at all, that night.)

My advise, do not rent or buy this one. There are many many many better movies with similar (and better) scenarios.
9 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"For sale by owner": a thriller movie until the last second
ednunesusa10 January 2014
On a stormy night in the small town of Emeryville, Sera (Amanda Brown) is alone at home, but not for a long time. She sees on the local TV news that a serial killer is on the loose and his favorite victims are women alone. In addition, the serial killer carves the number 13 into his victim's chests. Sera is alone until the real estate consultant Andrew Byrd (John Lansch) shows up regarding the sale of her house even though Sera says that it is not on sale. Andrew couldn't go back home because it was raining so Sera lets him stay while he waits for his ride. Andrew tells Sera about his impending custody battle for his daughter Samara. Talking to Andrew Sera realizes that he is such a strange and an unbalanced man. Later that night, the security maintenance personnel John (Marc Hustvedt) turns up to fix the alarm system. He seems innocent enough with his highly religious nature in spite of that he presents another weird personality. Sera spends that rainy night with two strangers. She feels tense due to the possibility that one of those men could be the serial killer. However, tension builds when Andrew finds a knife inside John's bag. From that part until the end of the movie we can see all the thriller elements that will certainly surprise the viewers by its unexpected ending. Written and directed by Pritesh Chheda, the movie "For Sale by owner" was released in September 2006 in the USA and a few months later in Brazil. The genre is certainly a mix of thriller and horror, catching the viewer's attention since the first minute. It was filmed in Texas (USA). One positive aspect of this film is the length. It lasts less than one and a half hour. Moreover, it is well done, especially the edition .The cast is formed by Amanda Brown, John Lansch, Marc Hustvedt, and Trant Batey. Some parts of the movie are really breathtaking and the The movie is highly recommended for those who enjoy thriller movies with a 'background story' and great plot.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Slow-Paced Examination of Character
gavin69424 October 2012
On a dark and stormy night, with a serial killer on the loose, Sera (Amanda Brown) invites two strangers in, either of whom could be a serial killer.

Amanda Brown makes an unlikely protagonist. She is not particularly likable in this role, but does a fine job of being vulnerable. And maybe that is the important part: knowing that if the man in her house is a serial killer, she probably stands no chance against him.

This film strikes me as being like Larry Cohen's "Pick Me Up", but with a mysterious twist. In "Pick Me Up", we have a woman surrounded by two serial killers. Here, we have a woman with two strangers in her house -- but we have no idea if they are both killers, one of them is a killer, or maybe neither of them are. Both are creepy, but what does that mean?

The film is slow, and very little happens... but it is somewhat interesting and I am tempted to bump up my rating of it a little bit. But, sadly, it is just not quite worthy.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed