As you might have figured out from our lack of horror movie reviews, neither of us can handle scary movies. However, I had the pleasure of watching a screening of The Selling last week at the Egyptian Theater. Full disclosure: this movie was written and stars some friends of mine, but I believe that peers can be the harshest critics of each others work which is why you know I’m being honest when I say this movie is charming. This spooky, but not too spooky, ghost thriller was written by Gabriel Diani, whose smart comedy I’ve always been drawn to, and is the directorial debut of Emily Lou.
The Selling is the story of too honest real estate agent, Richard Scarry (played by Gabriel Diani) who buys a house to flip but alas and alack the house is haunted. For an independently produced movie The Selling looks great, has realistic looking special effects and is filled with a top notch actors. In the opening scene we get a lovely little dialogue with our hero, Scarry, trying to talk potential home owners (Simon Helberg and Alina Phelan) out of buying a house they can’t afford. Simon doesn’t have to do much to be funny, and though he’s only in the movie briefly he sets a nice tone for the film which is reminiscent of Ghostbusters. Nancy Lenehan is wonderful as Richard’s mother battling cancer and the reason he is trying to flip a house so he can pay for her treatments. The human villain Mary Best (played pitch perfectly by Janet Varney) is a sunny real-estate agent that you love to hate and the reason they ended up with the haunted house in the first place. Rounding out the cast is Richard’s real estate partner, Dave Ross (comically played by Jonathan Klein), and ghost blogger Ginger Sparks (adorably played by Etta Devine) who tries to help them rid the house of specters.
As previously stated I cannot handle scary movies, the CW’s Vampire Diaries is about the limit of my thrill-seeking threshold, which is why The Selling is perfect for someone who can only handle a little fright. Every time it gets too scary they bring it back with comedy. Whether it’s the ghostly voice howling to a trapped Richard Scarry in the attic to “Get out!” while he struggles with the door screaming back, “I’m trying!” to the wonderfully executed scene of the exorcism with Barry Bostwick as the priest. The Selling reminds me of Mr. Boogedy in a lot of ways, which I swear is the highest of compliments. Mr. Boogedy was a Disney Sunday night movie that I grew up with and love. Partly due to nostalgia but also because it combined a haunted house with enough humor so I never got too scared. The Selling has the same vibe. My favorite part of this movie is a scene when Richard is showing the house to potential buyers. He closes the mirror in one of the bathrooms and a ghost appears, he responds with “That doesn’t happen in the master bathroom.”
For your Halloween fright night movie festival I highly recommend you add The Selling to your list – it will have you jumping one minute and laughing the next which is a rare and lovely feat when it’s executed well.
Watch the trailer for The Selling:
The Selling is available on iTunes, Amazon etc. To get your own copy or to stream it go to http://www.thesellingthemovie.com/
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM AND SEEN!!