With minimal regard for acting, production values or the fundamentals of screenwriting, self-distributed romantic thriller addresses a ripped-from-the-headlines hate crime with such earnestness, writer-director-producer Jorge Ameer must have thought he was the first to tackle the subject of gay-bashing onscreen.

With minimal regard for acting, production values or the fundamentals of screenwriting, self-distributed romantic thriller “The House of Adam” addresses a ripped-from-the-headlines hate crime with such earnestness, writer-director-producer Jorge Ameer must have thought he was the first to tackle the subject of gay-bashing onscreen. Operating squarely in Afterschool Special territory, the helmer delivers yet another unremarkable addition to the growing list of low-end, gay-targeted pics whose box office depends on what auds will endure just to see a softcore, same-sex love scene.

In an opening sequence set “two years earlier” (than what, auds never learn), a small-town gay boy named Adam (Jared Cadwell) falls for his boss’s handsome son (John Shaw). After the boss dies unexpectedly, bequeathing his remote cabin to Adam, the two young men enjoy romantic bliss there just long enough for a fleeting butt shot before a trio of local thugs beat Adam to death with their Bible. Pic skips ahead abruptly as Adam’s ghost makes things uncomfortable for the cabin’s new owners, offering a few genuinely startling moments — a reminder that the horror genre serves as a better vehicle for self-made directors than melodrama.

The House of Adam

Production

A Hollywood Independents release of an Ameer Jorge production in association with A.J. Prods. Produced, directed, written by Jorge Ameer.

Crew

Camera (Technicolor), Joseph White; editor, John Lavin; music, Ilia Eshkenazy; additional songs, Brent J. Dickey. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Aug. 21, 2008. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

John Shaw, Jared Cadwell, Alexis Karriker, Thomas Michael Kappler, Tiffany McFarland, Reeve Howard.
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