"For Sale" (2024)

by Joseph Perry and Mike Imboden

In our “The Good, the Bad, and the Verdict” film reviews, Joseph and Mike give their thoughts on a slice of cinema. For this installment, it’s For Sale, a film by Christopher Schrack and Lucid Gem Productions.

Mason McGinness (Andrew Roth) has always been good at two things: selling himself, and finding ways to cheat people into buying when they shouldn’t. One day, his brazen swindling catches up with him and he finds himself fired from his job and kicked to the curb by his ex-girlfriend. Mason finds a small realty company that needs someone to sell a piece of property that is considered “unsellable.” The catch? It is an infamous murder house — a haunted house where anyone who inhabits it ends up dead. Now, with the help of a quirky psychic, Mason must find his humanity to get his life back . . . or die trying.

The Good
Joseph: The big draws with For Sale for me are the lively characters and the performances of the actors who bring them to energetic cinematic life. The screenplay from director Christopher Schrack and Jordan Friedberg contains a good deal of engaging dialogue, and the crackerjack delivery from Andrew Roth as slick-talking nogoodnik salesman McGinness, Steve Montague as his new boss Mr. Bendt, and Corinne Britti as a sarcastic medium, among others, is wonderfully delivered. McGinness has a mostly solid character arc (more about that below). The special effects are quite good considering budgetary limitations, with no shortage of the red stuff on display.   

Mike: For Sale is a prime example of how to accomplish a lot with a little. With only his brother helping at times, Schrack basically did everything himself to keep costs low, but thanks to a great eye for blocking out a shot,  and some decent effects work, the lack of budget never shows.  
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he surrounded himself with a very talented cast.  Andrew Roth does a great job of bringing the smarmy Mason to life. The character starts out as someone you want to root against, but by the end you’re pulling for the guy.  Corinne Britti’s dry sense of humor makes her Claire a fun and memorable character despite not having a whole lot of screen time, and Steve Montague’s Mr. Bendt has some great lines that are delivered with an expert level of timing.

The Bad
Joseph: Balancing humor and horror isn’t easy, and why stop just short of calling For Sale a horror comedy. It has elements of both, but doesn’t quite land the balancing act, especially when things take a dark turn and — skirting around spoilers here — viewers are fully behind McGinness before these heavier events occur. They don’t bring things to a full stop, but for me they provided a bit of head scratching as they took place and while the end credits rolled.

Mike:  My only complaint is that at nearly two hours the film tends to drag in a few spots.  It’s this area that Schrack probably could have benefitted from a second set of eyes during editing.

The Verdict
Joseph: Overall, For Sale is an entertaining watch, and even though I stated that it does not quite have the feel of a full-on horror comedy for me, it does provide its share of amusing scenarios and some genuine creepiness. Fans of haunted house spookiness and horror comedies should find plenty to enjoy.

Mike: For Sale is a fun haunted house flick - a sub genre that normally doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but I’m going to credit the overall chutzpah on display and Roth’s talented turn as Mason as the reasons why this DID end up working in my eyes. While it does clock in at almost two hours, it never really feels quite that long.  Plus there’s some added points for the majority of the filming taking place in Burkittsville, MD which is about a fifteen minute drive from my house.  And yes, that’s the same Burkittsville of The Blair Witch Project fame.  Witches and ghosts? Must be something in the water over there.
If you like haunted house films you should enjoy yourself and find yourself closing the deal on For Sale.  

For Sale
, from Gravitas Ventures, is available on digital platforms as of May 7, 2024

For Sale
Directed By: Christopher Schrack
Written By: Jordan Friedberg, Christopher Schrack
Starring: Andrew Roth, Corinne Britti, Ellie Torrez
Run Time: 1h 55m
Rating: NR
Release Date: May 7th, 2024