The Late Show
USA, 2010, 92 min
For most people affected by the recent housing market crash, the impact was strictly financial. In Emily Louís inventive debut, hero Richard Scarry discovers an additional burden: the paranormal. Worried by his motherís increasing medical problems, the overly nice real estate agent cooks up a grand moneymaking scheme. He and his friend Dave will buy a house, fix it up and flip it for an amazing profit. In the days before the bubble pops, this seems like a grand idea, and the pair sets to work on a quick sale. However, it soon becomes clear that not only are they in danger of losing money on the place but itís also haunted by the victims of a notorious serial killer called the Sleepstalker. In the wake of overflowing toilets and bleeding walls, a plague of wasps and a bad bout of demonic possession, the plucky salesman soldiers on, scheduling showings and even hosting an open house. ďSometimes the closet becomes a portal to another realm,Ē he helpfully warns one horrified couple. Scriptwriter Gabriel Diani (who also plays Scarry) cleverly employs the tropes of haunted house stories to witty and original ends. Besides Richardís frequent fisticuffs with phantasms, the film offers tongue-in-cheek casting (Rocky Horror Picture Showís Barry Bostwick plays a demented exorcist), a crisp visual style and keen up-to-date satire. Deftly juggling humor and horror, The Selling is one short sale genre fans wonít want to miss out on.
This is a Cinema by the Bay film. Presented in association with SF Sketchfest: The San Francisco Comedy Festival. World Premiere.