The Box House is a 2014 Psychological American Drama Horror film written by Matt Reeves and John Ajvide Lindqvist and directed by Louis Leterrier starring Julian Glover, Harrison Ford, Alan Ritchson, Mandy Patinkin, Frances Fisher, Mickey Rourke, Annie Potts, Christine Baranski, Nicholas Hoult, Nina Dobrev, Juno Temple, Riley Keough, Betty White, Jeremy Sumpter, Taylor Kinney, Alden Ehrenreich and Taylor Swift.
The film serves as the first psychological horror film popular comedic dame television actress Betty White has starred in, the only other near horror suspense film she has starred in being Steve Miner's Lake Placid in which she starred alongside Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda and Oliver Platt.
The Box House is scheduled for worldwide theatrical release on March 20th, 2014 and had already came to serve in the running for Saturn's Best Horror Or Thriller film 2014 losing out to Victimized.
The film is shot in Arkansas, Virginia, Oregon and certain regions of Austin, Texas as the inspiration for many of the creepy locations had been previously scouted for Marcus Nispel and Michael Bay's 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre Remake.
A mostly introverted small town 19 year youth Daniel Haden (Nicholas Hoult) has just turned 20 and in a last ditch effort to reconnect with his in their senior year high school friends and ex-girlfriend Elsie Bennett (Juno Temple) organizes an elaborate trip to a rave party in the Arkansas Countryside.
The group hit a tragic turn as Elsie's current and somewhat unfaithful boyfriend Sam Forster (Taylor Kinney) gets into a heated argument with Daniel whilst he is driving along unfamiliar roads after getting lost.
The argument escalates into a physical attack on Daniel and Daniel's combi van handed down from his recently past beloved grandmother hits a tragic flip and then crashes onto the side of an abandoned road.
All of the group are alive but injured from the crash in particular Sam and Jarod Hoskin (Alden Ehrenreich) Sam Lancaster's (Jesse James) bestfriend and Daniel's lifelong family friend.
Elsie's boyfriend Sam has a broken right leg which is tended to by Elsie as the others tend to Jarod who has had one of his vital arteries pierced in the accident as confirmed by Daniel's religious nice guy bestfriend Zac (Jeremy Sumpter).
The group attempt to use their mobile phones to call in paramedics but fail to do so as their connection has been cut off by their remote location.
Elsie's Sam takes charge of the group overuling Daniel's suggestions on what to do in the situation as he got them lost in the first place which ignited the argument which caused the crash.
Sam proposes himself, Daniel, Elsie, the other Sam and his girlfriend Carly (Taylor Swift) proceed along a dirt road which has a mail box visible at the end signalling a residence at the end where they can ask the people who own the house to use their phone to call in paramedics and a tow truck for the smashed up combi.
Daniel proposes against the idea as in most horror film situations when a group of young people end up stranded in the middle of nowhere and attempt to seek out help they end up being killed by psychopathic, cannibal hillbillies or inbreds who don't possess phones.
Sam fires back that they are not in some movie but the horror their going through right now is very real and a friend of theirs is bleeding to death right now because of him which prompts him to change his mind.
Carly agrees on proceeding to check the residence as she tells her Sam that she just wants the nightmare to be over with already and Elsie expresses her concerns in regards to what Daniel has stated and how in real life there are sickos that can be found out in the middle of nowhere.
She is simply suaded though by the reminder once again that Jarod is bleeding to death and if he dies and there was the chance to call for help and get him out of here then his blood will be on their hands.
The two Sams, Daniel, Elsie, Carly and Zac proceed along the road while Taylor and Steph remain and look over Jarod at the combi immobilised on the side of the abandoned road.
The others arrive at the residence at the end of the road and befriend a kind, pretty middle aged woman Marianne "Maria" Hershell (Annie Potts) and her short tempered husband Abe Hershell (Julian Glover), his younger brother Russell (Harrison Ford), Russell's son Jr. (Alan Ritchson), Abe and Russell's youngest brother Gordon (Mandy Patinkin) who comes off very hostile as well his champagne gurgling dolled up wife Helena (Christine Baranski) and finally their sweet grandmother Eden (Betty White).
The group tells immediatley of their predicament though Elsie seems incredibly suspicious of the family and slips away around the property on a walk unnoticed by the others apart from Daniel who goes to follow but is stopped by Sam.
The group are escorted inside where Maria Hershell immediately proceeds to call the police and Abe overlooks as Russ tends to his son's hunting injury.
Daniel notices they have no family photos and Zac notices a lot of locked doors.
Carly comes over to an old record player and also finds a new stereo system with a collection of recent hits which she compliments the family on.
Abe rudely remarks that the trashy music of this trashy generation belongs to Maria.
Outside Elsie comes to the shed where she notices a trapdoor being thumped against and oversees a woman feeding food before letting out a costume wearing disfigured tall man whom she embraces.
Elsie upon seeing the man stumbles back and knocks cans in the shed over backing out which captures the attention of the disfigured man who proceeds to whimper and roar and be restrained by the woman who then screams out for Abe.
Abe who had been perched against the rumpus room window hears the scream and looks out with his rifle to see Elsie upon the ground who overturns and sees him.
At the time Carly has put on Maria's stereo system a single of the song Hollaback Girl which plays as Abe and Russ seize the group.
Elsie's Sam rushes to get to Elsie outside but struggles with Abe as Zac is rendered unconscious by Russell Sr. and Daniel is seized by the throat by Russell Sr. who sleeper holds him into unconsciousness.
Maria looks on in shock as Carly and her Sam rush into Russell Sr. and her Sam is rendered unconcsious by Russell who knocks him back in self-defence.
Carly rushes for the door as Abe yells for Maria to get her who just freezes and Russ Jr. then shoots Carly with a tranquilizer dart as she heads for the doorway and stops as Gordon Hershell and Grandmother Hershell are escorted inside and Helena Hershell comes down the stairs.
A still barely conscious Carly attempts to struggle upwards but is knocked out by Helena who rolls back her blonde hair and calls her pretty before stating to the rest she's mine.
Elsie outside gets to her feet and makes a run for it capturing the eye of Abe who still struggling with Elsie's Sam knocks him out as he too becomes distracted by the running Elsie outside.
Abe calls the family to assemble out front though Maria at first does not respond as she is still stiff. Abe out front calls to the woman in the barn shed who is named as Alexis (Frances Fisher) who is told to let her husband Dan (Mickey Rourke) off the leash.
Alexis hesitates but comes to unchain him apologizing under her breath to the running Elsie who she looks at before glancing away.
The S & M costume wearing Dan Hershell then runs at an incredible speed after Elsie and eventually apprehends her by night as she makes it to the woods edge near the end of the road and the abandoned side road containing the others and the immobilised combi.
She is pulled away as Dan Hersell gets a look at Steph and Taylor tending to Jarod inside the smashed up combi as it begins to pour down with rain.
Inside the combi Steph makes a breakthrough with her mobile which finally catches a brief signal and she is able to contact the local authorities but has the call cut out with the signal as she gives off half of the location after telling their predicament.
Taylor who is beside Jarod holding his bloody hand has the barely coherent Jarod reveal he is in love with her and she confesses that part of the reason she came along on this trip was not only because Carly asked her to but rather cause she feels the same way about him.
Elsie is brought back to the Hershell house and locked in Dan's darkened cellar where she is placed in a large cage.
Daniel is tied to a ladder in the barn shed whilst Zac is suspended above in a hanging cage.
Both Sam's are tied down on dining room chairs back to back whilst Carly is upstairs with Helena Hershell who tends her to wounds from the combi accident and begins to doll her up and dress her up before escorting her downstairs.
The family's history is revealed to the group by the various members who proceed to torture them apart from Maria, Alexis and a reluctant Russell who encourages his son not to follow along with Uncle Abe's commands.
The family have been in hiding since their brain damaged severley disfigured Dan Hershell the second youngest of the brothers proceeded to kill a collection of townspeople after the accident which rendered him the way he is was brought to light to the public and he was publicly humiliated.
Abe, Gordon and Helena Hershell had then come to realize after hiding out after the town's closure and the murders that humans of the outside world are marginalized and a threat to them and they wouldn't need to hurt them if they would just stop poking their noses into their business and threatening Dan.
Helena who possesses a caked over scar on her cheek tells Carly and the Sam's how she sustained the injury as a result of standing up for Dan over his inner beauty.
After Carly is tortured by Helena before the eyes of her and Elsie's Sam, Elsie's Sam breaks free of his chair bindings and then frees Carly's Sam who assists in attacking Helena and releasing Carly.
Carly makes a run and Abe shoots her Sam dead after Dan fatally slices him across the chest with a machete rendering him to the ground.
A tearful Maria inside blocks out the noise with her music as Russell stops his son from participating in Sam's execution.
Alexis pleads with them to stop but has Dan break down in muffled roars and cries prompting her to embrace him.
Elsie's Sam comes into the barn shed and hears Elsie's screams for help and before making his way into the Barn cellar notices Daniel and Zac whom he releases.
Sam then down in the cellar is apprehended by Gordon who whips him down brutally.
Gordon then calls out for the others and him, Abe and Russ Jr. place him down on a chopping block where before the eyes of the bound Elsie he has legs broken by Abe's sledgehammer and then sawn off by Dan's machete.
Carly who had been released returns to the Hersell house and a now returning to consciousness Helena and Maria who is still stiff listening to music in a tearful trance.
Carly with Helena's scalpel hacks at her face in rage and then stabs her before running off upon hearing the other family members.
The freed Daniel and Zac come out the barn shed to Carly and as they duck down at the side of the barn Daniel tells Carly and Zac to get back to the combi as the family do not know they have Steph, Jarod and Taylor there.
Zac guides away a traumatized crying Carly as Daniel tells he's going to get Sam and Elsie.
Steph in the meantime ventures out of the combi leaving Taylor to Jarod and walks her up the road for help telling her they need help now and the others haven't come back.
Steph comes to find a dumpsite of victims cars and memoribilia belonging to the victims who once occupied the vehicles.
Steph in a panic then makes a return run for the combi.
Carly and Zac come into the woods and Zac comforts Carly as she breaks down over her Sam's death.
Daniel begins to rig an explosion of Abe Hershell's truck which becomes a success though he hears Abe instruct Dan to go and finish off the other two making their way back to their little combi and the other mules waiting for them. Daniel sets his explosion which works as a diversion for the other family members, even drawing Maria out of her trance outside despite her still in a teary state.
Daniel slips in and down into the torture cellar where sees various corpses and then unties Elsie as he sees her Sam's mutilated corpse.
Dan Hershell comes into the woods and attacks Carly and Zac and with his machete gashes Zac's leg spiralling him to the ground.
He then leaves Zac in pursuit of the running Carly and eventually catches her as she scales a tall tree. He rattles the branch upon which Carly is walking sending her down to the ground and dislocating her left leg.
Carly stumbles to her feet and attempts to stumble away letting out one final loud scream as Dan spirals his machete into her back and she is knocked to the ground dead.
Zac hears the scream and stumbles his way out of the woods back to the abandoned road and the combi.
There he runs into Steph who has just returned and Taylor who screams for Steph as Jarod begins to lose his vision then dies before the group.
Taylor breaks down crying and yells at Zac before seeing his injured leg and as he begins to tell them what happened Dan spirals his machete at them which misses and smashes into the combi.
Taylor screams and Steph and Zac usher her into the combi as Steph hotwires the combi and gets the smashed vehicle moving a little before they are smashed into a by an oncoming car.
Out of the car emerges the severely disfigured Helena who shoots the screaming Taylor in the head as she pushes herself out of the combi and then gets to her feet.
Steph is then killed as Helena pulls forth a bow and a collection of arrows, discharging three through the combi windshield and into Steph's chest.
Helena then lights a cigarette and then withdraws a molotov cocktail which she lights up with her lighter and then throws upon the combi watching it explode and killed the entrapped Zac.
Daniel with the freed Elsie evades Abe and the others but is found hiding out by the old windmill over the hill of their property by Maria who offers to help them.
She hides them away and then comes to Russell Sr. convincing him to help her on account of his son.
He agrees but Elsie ends up killing Russ Jr. as he finds them at the windmill and attacks her and Daniel.
He shoots Daniel in the chest with his shotgun before she stabs him in the jugular with a confiscated glass shard.
As Russell Sr. goes to kill Elsie in vengeful rage Maria shoots him in the head saving her life and tells her to run.
Helena returns to the house with Dan and they come to the scene of Russ Jr and Russ Sr.'s bodies.
Abe hits Maria and demands to know why she did it and she states simply because they are the monsters, not them.
She tells the police are coming that she called them herself and confessed all that they've done.
Abe then tells them their going and they'll set up at a new place like before.
Maria shakes her head tearfully and then shoots Abe in the chest who then after a moment of shock returns fire killing her with multiple gun shots.
Abe then bleeds to death and falls beside his wife's body as Helena watches.
Dan whimpers away back to the barn shed and is comforted by Alexis who had already been let it on Maria's plan and embraces the whimpering Dan a final time before shooting him the chest and then shooting herself in the head.
Helena hears the gunshots from the shed and then flees over the hills to the opposite woods.
Elsie makes it back to the abandoned road and the burnt wreckage of the combi where police and paramedics arrive at the scene.
As Maria's stereo plays on in the Hershell house Gordon's body is shown as riddled with bullet wounds implying his death at the hands of Maria earlier and Helena who makes her way through the woods eventually comes out onto the other side of the abandoned road containing the combi where she is shot down by police after resisting arrest and firing back against police with her gun and then attempting draw her bow and arrows.
Elsie watches Helena's demise from the backseat of her car as the scene finishes on shots of Daniel, both Sams, Carly and the incinerated bodies of Taylor, Steph and Zac.
- Julian Glover as Abraham "Abe" Hershell
- Harrison Ford as Russell "Russ" Hershell
- Alan Ritchson as Russell "Russ Jr." Hershell
- Mandy Patinkin as Gordon "Gordes" Hershell
- Frances Fisher as as Alexandra "Alexis" Hershell
- Mickey Rourke as Daniel "Damaged Dan" Hershell
- Annie Potts as Marianne "Maria" Hershell
- Christine Baranski as Aunt Helena "Helen" Hershell
- Nicholas Hoult as Daniel Haden
- Nina Dobrev as Steph Tarra
- Juno Temple as Elsie Bennett
- Taylor Kinney as Sam Forster
- Riley Keogh as Taylor Michaels
- Betty White as Grandmother Eden Hershell
- Jeremy Sumpter as Zac Murtet
- Alden Ehrenreich as Jarod Hoskin
- Jesse James as Sam Lancaster
- Taylor Swift as Carly Stollen
- What's New Pussycat?- Tom Jones