Review: ‘The House of Cain’

Offbeat camerawork and creepy music are mostly successful in making something quite original from an examination of six prisoners found guilty of murder. Despite the strange talent on display, film's very grim theme, plus the fact pic does not explore the nature of the crimes themselves, will make distribution and TV programming difficult.

Offbeat camerawork and creepy music are mostly successful in making something quite original from an examination of six prisoners found guilty of murder. Despite the strange talent on display, film’s very grim theme, plus the fact pic does not explore the nature of the crimes themselves, will make distribution and TV programming difficult.

Photos of the murder victims are very briefly glimpsed, but generally film placidly examines six killers who sometimes sit silently in their cells, and sometimes address the camera. A woman talks about killing her son, and most express remorse and wish things had turned out differently. Unable to make any kind of value judgment about the individual characters, the viewer is left with a rather eerie exercise in style, a film which shows a talent, but one which is not very user-friendly.

The House of Cain

Greece

Production

A Greek Film Centre-NET-Greek TV-Stefi Films production. (International sales: Greek Film Centre, Athens.) Produced, directed by Christos Karakepelis. Screenplay, Karakepelis, Natasha Segou.

Crew

Camera (color), Yannis Valeras; editor, Giorgos Triantafyllou; music, Thanos Mikroutsikos. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 16, 2001. Running time: 79 MIN.
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