House Red (2022) poster

House Red (2022)


UK/USA. 2022.


Director – Coz Greenop, Screenplay – Lee Apsey & Coz Greenop, Producers – Tamer Hassan & Camilla Storey, Photography – Doug Milsome, Music – Fabio D’Andrea, Visual Effects – Daniel Cullen, Production Design – Niina Maaria Topp. Production Company – Alameda Entertainment/Skylight Media Entertainment/Tell Me a Storey Productions/Green13 Films/141 Housing.


Sam Wilkinson (Felix Wilcock), Clara Paget (Natalie), Tamer Hassan (Adamo), Natasha Henstridge (Mary Cavendish), Jasmine Waltz (Sophie), Nicola Posener (Samantha), Hakan Hassan (Oscar), Ariadna Cabrol (Eve), Sean Cronin (Landlord), Clare Louise Frost (Concierge), Gary Mavers (William Cavendish), Debbie Campbell (April)


British couple Felix and Natalie are travelling through Florence, seeking to repair their relationship after Felix slept with Natalie’s best friend April. While there, they visit a wine bar. When the landlord learns that Natalie has local parentage, he insists they try from a bottle in his private collection. They both agree that it is the most amazing wine they have ever tasted and want to buy some. The landlord tells them it is not for sale and the only way they can get some is when a case of the wine is given away at the end of the season by the vineyard’s owners to the workers who pick the grapes. They both agree to travel to the vineyard and are hired on by the vignerons William and Mary Cavendish. At the same time, Felix continues to receive messages from April asking when he is going to break up with Natalie. Meanwhile, they become aware that something sinister is going on at the vineyard as other workers begin to disappear.

House Red was the fourth film for British director Coz Greenop who has come to specialise in horror film since his debut film Wandering Rose (2014). Greenop has also made the horror film Dark Beacon (2017) and the non-genre crime film The Last Heist (2022).

Aside from its dubious sexual politics, which I will get to below, House Red is not an uninteresting film. There is some lovely location scenery in Florence and the vineyard makes a pictorial setting. The film has a solid cast. The sexual tensions between Sam Wilkinson and Clara Paget are placed at the forefront. The array of other characters around the side – the come-ons from Natasha Henstridge’s MILF wife, the foreman’s daughter, the two bitchy lesbians – makes for an intriguing mix.

Sam Wilkinson and Clara Paget in House Red (2022)
Scumbag boyfriend Sam Wilkinson and his fiancee Clara Paget

All of this certainly leaves you wondering where House Red is going. Sean Cronin’s appearance as the owner of a wine bar creates a strong introduction that sets up reasonable intrigue. At the vineyard, you end up following the sexual tensions and are never quite sure where the film is going in terms of horror. Tamer Hassan (who also produces the film) has a great scene as the foreman where he tells Sam Wilkinson the history of the Alsace vineyards and how the Champagne region of France is built on areas where the blood of the war dead has seeped into the ground. All of which leads in to the nasty twist ending.

On the other hand, I have begun to switch off a bunch of films post-2020 that come with openly anti-men agendas. Examples include the likes of She Will (2021), Things Heard & Seen (2021), Hunt Club (2022) and Barbie (2023). House Red is another example where it is less a horror film than a work about the demolition of one man Felix (Sam Wilkinson). Felix is engaged but seems to face women coming onto him wherever he goes, although he is never seen hitting onto any of them, it all seems their actions. This would be fine except for his fiancée Natalie (Clara Paget) who, rather than choosing the sensible option of leaving him, insists on clinging on because he is The One for her. He has even slept with her best friend (Debbie Campbell) who keeps texting and calling him asking why he hasn’t broken up with Natalie. Because he is a cheating bastard, the man is deemed worthy of death at the film’s end. I don’t want to get too deeply into the sexual politics of it but I would like to see someone create a version with the sexes changed – where a woman is constantly being hit on and is deemed worthy of execution because she has cheated on her fiancé – and it not be denounced as a sexist work.

Trailer here

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