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Krazy House - Sundance 2024


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By: Isaac P. Ale
January 30, 2024

Nick Frost and Alicia Silverstone and Gaite Jansen and Walt Klink in Krazy House Krazy House [2024]

Film

There's certainly something to be said about swinging for the fences.

If you're pinch hitting in the bottom of the ninth, sure I'd be happy with some contact. But if you're just swinging to send that shit to the moon I can appreciate the gumption.

That's exactly how I feel about Steffen Haars and Flip Van Der Kuil's wild English language debut film, Krazy House. While the film is a narrative mess, the inventive style is enough to keep you interested.

Krazy House establishes its creative approach by beginning as what seems like a TV sitcom. Following the Christian family, led by the matriarch Eva (Alicia Silverstone) along with her clumsy husband Bernie (Nick Frost) and two children Sarah (Gaite Jansen) and Adam (Walt Klink), this fake show is overwhelmingly 90's. While I can appreciate the idea of having a very meta commentary, twisting the whole idea of a live audience sitcom on its head, the execution of it results in some dreadful pacing. The over the top slapstick comedy on behalf of Bernie gets old quickly, and the failure of the film to push forward in any meaningful way forces the viewing to stagnate.

Things take a slightly more exciting turn when a family of Russian workers consisting of Igor (Matti Stooker), his brother Dmitri (Chris Peters) and their father Pjotr (Jan Bijvoet) show up. Introducing chaos, eventually revealing themselves to be criminals, shakes up the silly sitcom bit and pushes the narrative forward, albeit slowly. For all of the buildup that goes into the patchwork plot, it is unfortunate that the narrative of the film is one of its weakest links.

Krazy House is at its best when shit hits the fan and all hell breaks loose. Bernie snaps out of his pious do-good phase to protect his family and the movie devolves into violence, drugs, and hilarious insanity. While you don't really care why anything is happening, the fact that anything is happening is welcome and often outrageous to the point of being funny. I couldn't really keep track of all the wild pieces of the film, but its overarching extremely blatant satirical take on religion was hysterical. It can be a little too heavy handed at times, but Krazy House never takes itself too seriously so it can get away with some of its more absurd turns.

Overall, Krazy House is an entertaining yet empty experience that may introduce too many headaches. Silly and outrageous to a fault, the film fails to capitalize on its meta inventiveness, instead sinking into casual wtf territory.

I will give Haars and Van Der Kuil credit though. I have never seen a movie like this before.

Froth

In Krazy House, Bernie likes to don these shoes that have built in brooms on the bottom, much to the disapproval of his wife Eva. But thankfully, Bernie takes extra caution with his safety by wearing a helmet when shoe-sweeping. Unfortunately, Eva doesn't get her own helmet to protect herself from Bernie's classic 90's sitcom shenanigans, suffering some severe head trauma in the early stages of the film. Combined with the outlandish imagery and preposterous story, you may need to check your own head after watching this film. In fact, you can check your head while watching! Proper Brewing Co. brewed us a wonderful Czech pilsner by the name of Czech Your Head, and it feels especially right to pair it with Krazy House.

Checking all of the boxes for a Czech style pilsner, the Czech Your Head is clean, crisp and refreshing above all else. It possesses that malt forward flavor while going down easy peasy. The Czech Your Head is about as good a traditional Czech pilsner as any other out there. Because while I appreciate changing up the formula and trying new things, you can always lean back on tradition and enjoy yourself.

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