UFF666: The Onion’s 2012 Off-the-Rails Reality TV Spoof, SEX HOUSE

While it’s fair to say that I’ve been a fan of the subgenres surrounding found footage and faux documentaries for some time, it’s also fair to note that this 2012 YouTube series from The Onion was never on my radar prior to its inclusion in this year’s UFF lineup. Nine episodes ranging from 6 to 8 minutes a piece and a “reunion” show, this series is parody to the point of absurdity… but given the already absurd nature of reality TV, it’s certainly fitting.

The Onion’s Sex House is surely on brand for the online satire slingers. The set up, while a bit on-the-house, doesn’t feel too far off from shows like Big Brother. While “real” reality shows don’t declare that their express purpose is for the cast members be placed in situations that lead them to having sex and creating drama, it’s hard to argue that this is the implicit purpose and idea of these shows. The fictional reality series just wears its intentions on its sleeve. Simply put, five sexy singles and an oddly placed contest winner that happens to be middle aged and happily married are locked in a living space together with the sole purpose of getting wild and hooking up.

Poor planning and sadistically cruel living conditions lead to an entire breakdown and total insanity. There are deaths, pregnancy, torture, poisonings, a blinding, and – as it happens – very few sexual encounters. The madness is so absurd that it goes from hilarious to tediously difficult to watch and back several times over.

The resulting viewing experience is simultaneously unpleasant and enjoyable, bouncing back and forth. Overall, it’s hard to deny that it was an incredibly clever experiment from the Onion crew that should appeal to most folks who are the type to attend a festival such as this one.

While I’m likely not running back to it fir a rewatch anytime soon, I highly recommend checking it out. The local festgoers should definitely snatch up the chance to watch it on a big screen with a group of likeminded weirdos. Others can check it out on YouTube for free, but it’s definitely one you should plan for watching with a group.

Sex House screens on Sunday at 12:45, all information can be found at unnamedfootagefestival.com for the rest of the stellar program. Grab your tickets now and get your ass to the 4-Star.

Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. He writes regularly here and at Cinapse, as well as contributing to a few other sites on occasion. He likes music, film, the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers, talking about Criminal Justice, reading Intelligence Report, and his family... not in that order. His beautiful wife is far more talented than he is and his kids far more adorable... and crazy.
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