The Seasoning House (2012)

‘The Seasoning House’ – sick revenge thriller review

The Seasoning House is a 2012 British thriller starring Rosie Day, Sean Pertwee and Kevin Howarth. It was recommended to me by the lovely Eric of The IPC. Cheers Pen!

Now, this film is certainly a thriller. But so is that song by Michael Jackson and The Seasoning House leans more on the side of horror a lot of the time. It’s certainly not a film for the faint hearted.

The story centres around a deaf mute girl called Angel (Day) who is kidnapped by some military men along with other teenage girls from her village.


The girls are consequently taken away from their families (who are murdered if they protest the kidnapping of their daughters) and given to a man named Victor (Howarth) who traps them in his dingy, depressing house. Victor keeps the girls so he can sell them for sex.


The story is set during 1996 and I’m not sure where exactly but judging by the (occasionally dodgy) accents I’d guess somewhere in Eastern Europe. It’s classic Jason & the Argonauts Syndrome where no-one speaks the language of their native land. Oh well (not everyone likes subtitles I guess).

The evil Victor takes a shine to Angel and because of this and the birthmark on her face, decides not to put her with the other girls but to instead make her his personal assistant. This is not a desirable job but is marginally better than what the other girls are put through. And of course it gives the story a semblance of hope and intrigue – Angel is our protagonist after all. She soon realises she can fit through the ventilation system and can move around the house undetected, visiting the other girls secretly and showing them the compassion they are denied the rest of the time.

The girls are kept tethered in separate rooms, guarded by Victor’s henchman. One of Angel’s duties is to prepare them for male visitors – applying their make-up, washing away dry blood and injecting them with heroin. They’re in squalid conditions and are mistreated badly by the men who pay to have sex with them. Some of the men are so aggressive they leave the girls with broken bones or worse. In one unforgettable scene, it is revealed that one of the girl’s has a broken pelvis. Victor, apparently unfazed by this, just charges the man more money.


And that’s pretty much how this depressing story plays out, in a hellish routine of rape, violence and darkness. But of course, this is a revenge story and the time for retribution does come.

The tone never really changes, the film is gritty and brutal throughout. But in the second half of the movie, the pain and suffering is delivered to the people who deserve it. So it might be bloody and it might be gross – but at least it’s fun seeing people get what they deserve. Isn’t it?

The Seasoning House is an undeniably captivating film. It was a film where my hand involuntarily went over my mouth in shock. I actually spoke out loud (“oh my god”) despite watching it by myself. And I have pretty strong nerves when it comes to movies, I’ll more or less watch anything and I’ve technically seen worse than The Seasoning House. Despite the sensitive and cruel subject matter, it’s not a gratuitous film. There was little nudity (certainly no female nudity) and of course some satisfying revenge scenes which do help shift the bitter taste.

And sometimes it is refreshing to watch something so shocking and nerve shattering that it really does have an emotional effect. I was rooting for Angel and the girls so much – and my eyes didn’t stay dry.

There were of course, some pretty disturbing scenes. It’s not constant – mainly we are shown bits and pieces and our imaginations do the rest, but – and particularly in the second half of the film – there are scenes of extreme gore and sexual violence, some of which still seems to be embedded in my brain.


There’s one scene in particular that was very horrible and definitely, totally more at the horror end of the spectrum, even down to the way it was filmed and use of colour. It was frightening. I had no doubt  that Paul Hyatt (the director) was trying to scare the shit out of us and it was only after the film finished I realised how much it had scared me. I checked my windows were closed and made sure my front door was locked. It’s a very claustrophobic film – in every sense of the word.

The gore is really well done, there were some super realistic violent scenes which made me wince and squeeze my nails into my hand. Some indie films really get it right with their special effects and this is one of them. Some of it hits you right in the face – bam! Wasn’t expecting that.

seasoning house rd

My only real complaint about The Seasoning House is unfortunately, the ending – which was in parts brilliant and in parts slightly unsatisfactory. I can’t say too much for fear of ruining your experience but it was the one weak link in the story. Perhaps the movie thought it was slightly cleverer than it was, I don’t know, but I think it could have been improved and for a movie that is so tense and ‘edge of your seat’ the ending let it down somewhat.

All in all, if you’re a fan of extreme thrillers or horrors or just one of those people who has to ‘watch everything’ I would highly recommend this film as a genuinely tense and shocking piece of cinema. It’s certainly not boring and it certainly will make you think. And possibly scream.

About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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53 Responses to The Seasoning House (2012)

  1. Pingback: Films I Watched in: April | emmakwall (explains it all)

  2. beetleypete says:

    I finally got around to watching this film. (I know, but I’m slow…) It is set in Bosnia/Croatia, (anywhere that used to be Yugoslavia…) during the civil war there, I believe. That hardly matters, as it could be in any godawful place during any war.
    I agree with virtually everything you say, especially about some of the toe-curling violence, and very good special effects. However, I thought the twist ending (no spoilers) was actually quite clever, and it would have been so much easier to give it a very different ending indeed. Pertwee was up to his usual standard, (i wish I was a spaceman…) and the other ‘nasties’ were suitably nasty too.
    But praise has to be given to the young woman who acted the lead, Rosie Day. She is in virtually every scene, has to do a lot of stunts, all the time looking dirty and dishevelled, and portrays the downtrodden Angel perfectly. When the time comes, her revenge-taking is always believable, and not at all sensationalised. I haven’t seen her in much else, but I read that she received four best actress awards for this film alone. And it is unmistakably her film. She’s excellent in it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • emmakwall says:

      Hi Pete! How are you?

      I didn’t mind the ending, I just thought it SUCKED when she got to that house and we presumed she was safe only for that horrible doctor to be there. It seemed slightly ridiculous and after all the bloodshed and violence it would have been nice to have had a triumphant ending for Angel! 😦 nothing’s wrong with a happy ending!

      Glad we agree, as usual 🙂


      • beetleypete says:

        Not bad thanks, Em. Building up to my birthday this week! It might have been nice to have alternative endings on the DVD release, then we could choose! xxx

  3. vinnieh says:

    Seeing as you love Pertwee I reviewed Event Horizon recently.

  4. vinnieh says:

    Great review, looks very stark, realistic and brutal.

  5. Laura says:

    Hey Emma, I nearly watched this but got a bit squeamish about the subject matter and sexual violence. I might stick with Dog Soldiers.

    • emmakwall says:

      Dog Soldiers is brilliant!!! I like the characters and I always thought the werewolves were cool – kinda ‘realistic’ if there is such a thing?!!

      I found The Seasoning House a bit horrible in places. And there were certain bits that played on my mind for ages, which isn’t always that nice.

      Must say I had more fun watching Insidious 3 haha, you know where you are with bastard demon!

  6. theipc says:


    I was out yesterday so I missed this but ——> GREAT STUFF!!!!! This movie was pretty good but did leave some open plot lines…. sorry if I scared you!

    Love Pen!!!!!!!!


    P.S. O _ o o _ O

    • emmakwall says:

      Dear Pen! I’ve missed you!! ❤

      That's okay! Thank you for reading now 🙂 yeah it was a very good film, I just thought the ending let it down A BIT. I thought perhaps it was trying to be TOO clever maybe? But still, a great film. And I am still madly in love with…………….Mr Pertwee!

      Oh that's okay, I've been scared before 🙂 that scene with Ivan just shit me up that's all. I've actually looked up pics of the cast whilst they were filming (and smiling!) and feel better now. Not the first time I've done that either !!!!!

      I need to do some commenting on The IPC too! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Love Clam! xxxxxx

      • theipc says:

        My Dear Clam!!

        I’ve missed you too. These weekends are sucky without you : ( : ( I totally agree with you on everything except that I didn’t get scared. I haven’t been scared in anything since I saw The Descent the first time.

        Love Pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


        P.S. O _ o < 3 o _ O

        • emmakwall says:

          They’re sucky without you!

          It was weird, I was scared after more than anything! Maybe after all the drama settled down and it was just me at home with the film on my mind. Urgh!

          I didn’t enjoy The Descent THAT much but maybe I’m due a re-watch! I thought it was a cool film but don’t remember thinking it was outrageously good.

          I’m going to watch Insidious 3 at the cinema tonight so hopefully I’ll get scared tonight! ❤

          (to be honest…….it doesn't take much!)

          #seanpertwee #anfernee #pensandclams

          P.S O _ o ❤ o _ O

          • theipc says:

            We need to make a habit of saying high over the weekends : )

            That part in The Descent when she turns around with that camera and that thing was there – scared the poop out of me – I sure wasn’t expecting that!!

            Have fun at the movies tonight!!!!


            Love Pen!!!!

            < 3 < 3 < 3 < 3 < 3 < 3 < 3


            • emmakwall says:

              Definitely!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

              Like it was nice talking about the party 🙂 (which I still need to hear more about!)

              I can't even remember that bit, shows how long ago it was. But I definitely watched it, the girls go inside a cave and one of them is Asian and bossy (not a direct link, just something I remember) and there's weird, scary creatures in there who eat people.

              I will watch it again, very soon 😀

              Thanks Pen! I like the Insidious films (sorry it's not Fury Road!!!!!) so looking forward to it!

              Shall I 'tweet ya later'? 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

            • theipc says:

              Please do!!!!!


              Love Pen!!!

            • emmakwall says:

              I will do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #tweets #anfernee #pens
              xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Love Clam!

    • Laura says:

      Hi guys, I hate to butt in but had to say the The Descent is awesome! One of the only films to actually frighten me, and yes, that bit Eric mentioned made me jump.

      • theipc says:

        You got that right! And that tunnel scene about made me pass out I’m so claustrophobic….

      • emmakwall says:

        I’m so gonna have to watch this again!!! I saw it years ago, I’m sure I watched it with my dad. I enjoyed it but I don’t remember it being ‘amazing’ or anything. HOWEVER I know how great you both are and trust your opinions 100% so I think I’m going to have to re-watch VERY soon!

  7. movierob says:

    doesnt sound like it’s for me. great review Ems!

  8. Tom says:

    Yipes!!! This sounds tough to get through for ninnies like me…..

  9. That Other Critic says:

    Well, great post, but I’m afraid that this film just isn’t my cup of tea. Literally and figuratively speaking, of course.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks very much! That’s okay, it’s a pretty horrid film!

      So, what is your cup of tea? Both literally and figuratively, of course.


      • That Other Critic says:

        Literally: I quite like green tea, as well as a flavored peppermint or something tea, though I usually have to add honey (not to peppermint, that would be gross).
        Figuratively: I enjoy sci fi, fantasy, and action the most, though I also appreciate good comedies and dramas. I do not like horror.

        • emmakwall says:

          How odd. Do you know what the last cup of tea I had was? I guess not but I’m going to tell you. About 2 hours ago I had Green Tea with Peppermint infused – just about perfect right?!!

          I also love camomile tea (really helps me sleep) and good ole’ Breakfast Tea 🙂

  10. beetleypete says:

    Didn’t know this one, but as a fellow Pertwee fan, I would probably enjoy it. Given the subject matter, I shouldn’t really say that I suppose, but what the hell. that sort of thing went on a lot in Slovenia, Bosnia, and other places in the region, so I suppose they settled on a generic Eastern European location to cover all the bases.
    It’s only £3.85 on Amazon, cheaper than a cinema ticket. Cheers Emma.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • emmakwall says:

      Exactly! Good old Amazon. I bought mine on there too 🙂

      I love Sean Pertwee!! Yay! And he’s not in a ton of stuff, so we have to make sure to watch everything we can 🙂

      That’s okay, you’re allowed to enjoy this film Pete! I know what you mean, almost feels like it should be a bit ‘weird’ but it’s not weird. It’s just a film! 🙂

      Cheers Pete x

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