Okay, so maybe the title piqued my curiosity more than it deserved to. But I simply had to know if a little indie called Sh*thouse might be worth a sh*t. Fortunately, the film is not as crappy as its title. And it obviously struck a chord with judges of the (COVID-canceled) SXSW film festival, where it won the 2020 Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Film, probably for its ‘Before Sunset on a college campus’ vibe. The film skews arty and didn’t really float my mainstream boat, but I can see how it might appeal to up-and-coming auteurs who relate to young filmmaker Cooper Raiff who wrote, directed, produced and stars in Sh*thouse (aka S#!%HOUSE).

Raiff plays a lonely college freshman named Alex who’s struggling to make friends and adjust to campus life. He’s also homesick – and home is 1500 miles away. He’s just about to contemplate a transfer closer to home when he decides to take one last shot at figuring out this whole ‘college thing’ and attends a frat party at the notorious ‘Shithouse’ where he forms a strong bond with his RA Maggie (Dylan Gelula, First Girl I Loved). They spend the night walking, talking and doing some R-rated stuff. It’s all quite magical, until the next morning, when Maggie blows Alex off. Awkward. Hoping to rekindle their special connection, Alex returns to the Shithouse for another party and more angsty drama unfolds, with bittersweet results and some hope for the future.

S#!%HOUSE lands in theaters and On Demand October 16th.

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