Yet another film on the seemingly endless conveyor belt of movies marketed as something they are not, Treehouse is a teen thriller masquerading as a horror flick.

In fact, this time around even the makers are at fault, with the opening scenes suggesting something along supernatural or ghostly lines, only for a plot shift mid-film to anchor everything very much in the ‘normal’ (if somewhat sinister).

Things kick off with Elizabeth (an excellent Dana Melanie) returning to her out-in-the-sticks home to find her father has popped in to the city, bizarrely leaving his young son/her brother home alone.

The bad news though is that ‘Little Bob’ is nowhere to be seen, with some muddy footprints the only evidence of his disappearance.

At the same time we are introduced to Killian (J Michael Trautmann) and his older brother Crawford (Daniel Fredrick), who for some reason seem to be incurring the wrath of the local school bullies.

Anyways, Elizabeth and Killian join forces when Crawford becomes the next to go missing, with missing children apparently being a run-of-the-mill event in the small town.

On we move to very lengthy (and pretty dull) scenes of the two sitting around not really doing much (in a treehouse – see what they’ve done there), trying to work out just what is going on, before the revelations and some violence bring us to a close.

There are things to recommend here – Melanie’s performance is a real standout, a mix of vulnerability, pain and ballsy-when-she-needs-to-be anger, marking the young actress out as someone to keep an eye on.

Sadly, her turn is the only one really worth writing about, with the rest of the cast perfunctory at best.

The direction from Michael Bartlett (responsible for the likes of The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill) is adequate, although praise must go to the cinematography, with some sweeping landscape shots adding an impressive gloss to the production.

The violence is handled well, and there are some pretty gruesome themes that rear their head towards the film’s close.

I can’t really go into much for fear of ruining the film, but it is pretty dark stuff – even by genre standards.

But then all of that okay work is undone by a stupid closing scene that leaves a really bad taste, even laughable in fact.

Treehouse was in no way ambling into ‘must see’ territory before that anyway, but the close ensures Bartlett’s film wedges itself firmly in the ‘watch it if you have to’ category.

DVD Review: Treehouse
A sluggish saga that provides little in the way of entertainment
2.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.