(Hi there! So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR. Seriously, I currently have 181 things recorded! I’ve decided that, on February 1st, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not. So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR! Will I make it? Keep checking this site to find out! I recorded Tiny House of Terror off of Lifetime on June 29th, 2017!)
Before I start this review, I have to admit that, when it comes to the tiny house movement, I lost interest as soon as I saw the words “tiny” and “house.” I mean, I understand that they’re supposed to be better for the environment and easier to take care of. And I get that right now, a lot of people are pretending that they don’t care about material possessions and all that stuff. But, honestly, the only reason I would want a tiny house would be so I could keep it in the backyard of a bigger house.
That said, despite my lack of interest in the tiny house movement, I was a bit intrigued by the idea of a Lifetime movie set in a tiny house. After all, one of the great things about Lifetime films is that everyone, regardless of how poor or criminal they may be, usually lives in a large and tastefully furnished house. How, I wondered, would Lifetime handle setting a film in the type of house that is largely favored by retirees, hippies, and displaced persons?
Well, I’m glad to say that Lifetime handled it pretty well. Of course, they were clever enough not to set the entire film in a tiny house. There are several scenes that take place in a technologically advanced mansion and there are also several scenes that take place in Gravity Hill, a lovely little town where a magnetic field regularly plays havoc with electricity, cars, and cell phone reception. Tiny House of Terror was a surprisingly lovely film to look at. The small town was lovely. The scenes set in the big city were properly dark and menacing. The finale made great use of creepy shadow and light. Credited with cinematography is Jon Joffin and he certainly did a great job.
The film itself tells the story of Samantha (Francia Raisa), who was married to a tech billionaire named Kyle (Jesse Hutch). When Kyle disappears while climbing a mountain, Samantha is left distraught. Even worse, she finds herself a prisoner of her technologically advanced mansion, which was apparently designed to only recognize Kyle’s voice commands. (Imagine if Alexa suddenly got a passive aggressive attitude and you’ll understand what Samantha is going through.) It turns out that Kyle was planning on opening up a tiny house community in Gravity Hill. He was going to allow Samantha to do the landscaping. Only one tiny house has been built and Samantha decides to move out there, both for her own sanity and to complete Kyle’s final project.
Of course, things are never simple in Gravity Hill. It turns out that some people in town don’t want a tiny house community. No sooner has Samantha moved into her tiny house then strange things start to happen. Is it the magnetic field that’s making things (like kitchen knives) fly at Samantha or is something more sinister happening? Is Samantha being targeted and does it have anything to do with Kyle’s mysterious disappearance?
I liked Tiny House of Terror far more than I thought I would. Because it’s structured as a whodunit and there are a few flashbacks and time jumps, the film require a bit more concentration than the typical Lifetime film but that’s okay. It pays off in the end. Francia Raisa did a good job in the lead role, as did Nanzeen Contractor in the role of her sister. I may not care much about the tiny house movement but Tiny House of Terror not only held my interest but rewarded it as well.