‘Model House’ Review: A Home Invasion Thriller with a Remarkable Cast

Model House relies on a good cast and solid writing to create an entertaining experience for fans of the home invasion genre.

Model House (2024) is available now on VOD sites including Amazon Prime Video.

Table of Contents

What is Model House About?

Two masked home invaders threaten a lineup of models in Model House (2024).
Model House is from writer and director Derek Pike who has a strong background in directing music videos.

Model House is a home invasion crime thriller. The home being invaded is a rental house that serves as the temporary lodging for a group of five fashion models while on location for a multi-day swimsuit photo shoot. Among the group of established, well-known models is Zoe (Cory Anne Roberts), an aspiring model currently working her first photo shoot. Zoe is shy and awkward around the more freewheeling industry veterans she’s sharing a house with, but she finds a friend in Nadia (Kyra Santoro) who offers advice and calms Zoe’s nerves.

Nadia smiles as Zoe tries on a new top in Model House (2024).
Zoe and Nadia form a bond early in the movie, and that bond gives viewers a duo to care about as the action picks up.

The first night at the model house begins with a little partying, some slight friction among the models, and a whole lot of time spent on social media. Each model—except for Zoe—has a massive online following, and they all appear to be tied to their phones in one way or another. Later in the night, the model house is invaded by a masked duo (Chris Zylka and scream queen Scout Taylor-Comptom) who hold the models at gunpoint with a dastardly plan in mind. They are going to steal money from the models’ online fans by using their accounts to set up and advertise a fake fundraiser for a fellow model who recently died in a freak accident. Of course nothing goes as planned, and the night spins wildly out of control when unexpected guests arrive, and when the in-fighting among the criminals turns the situation deadly.

Model House Review

The models in Model House (2024) are tied up while sitting together on a couch.
The models include, from left to right, Carla (Priscilla Huggins Ortiz), Nadia (Kyra Santoro), Zoe (Cory Anne Roberts), Trudy (Hailee Lautenbach), and Sydney (Natalie Nootenboom).

Model House is really good, and it all begins with its cast and characters. Zoe is the lead and is fleshed out the most, but every character is given a distinct personality that feels essential to the story. With five models, two villains to begin with, and more people showing up along the way, that’s a lot of people to give screen time to. Some characters could fall into the background if the actors aren’t up to the task. But the cast of Model House imbues each of their performances with exactly what each role needs to stand out as a unique individual while keeping the collective tension simmering among their various conflicts. The whole cast is quite impressive and wholly entertaining.

Scout Taylor-Compton in Model House (2024).
For horror fans, Scout Taylor-Compton will probably be the most recognizable actor in the film (though there are other horror vets in the cast as well), but it truly does feel like an ensemble cast. They’re all equally good.

Of course, the actors can only do so much if the script isn’t any good. Thankfully, the story in Model House is a tightly wound crime thriller that manages to keep the plot moving in interesting new directions without becoming ridiculous. There are funny moments in Model House, but it isn’t a comedy, so the plotting has to make logical sense, and it mostly does. There is a section later in the movie when something happens that defies the logic of what we’re shown: (tap to see a slight spoiler) a character appears to have been killed or at least horribly injured, but they show up later mostly fine. But other than that, the story unfolds in a sensible way that is driven equally by character and plot. So, despite a slight stumble or two, Model House never loses its momentum.

Thomas (Chris Zylka) points a gun in Model House (2024).
Action isn’t the movie’s strongest attribute, but it doesn’t detract too much from the experience.

The one area where Model House falls short is in its depiction of physical action. Most of the conflict in first half of the movie is done through dialogue, but verbal altercations naturally lead to physical attacks, and the results are mixed. Some of the action is fine. A running tackle, a surprise ambush, a struggle for a gun. They’re all straightforward and good. But other actions look really awkward and not terribly believable, and they undercut the well-earned tension of the film as it barrels its way towards the finale. It’s really unfortunate because the most awkward moments are also some of the most crucial. By that point though, you should hopefully be invested enough in the characters to forgive some weirdness. Plus, the final moment of action is well done, which ends things on a high note.

Who Will Enjoy Model House?

Trudy looks at Zoe's phone in Model House (2024).
After Model House, we should all be on the lookout for more from filmmaker Derek Pike.

Model House is a thoroughly entertaining crime thriller with great characters and an engaging story. Fans of dark (but not excessively dark) thrillers, especially of the home-invasion variety, will enjoy it the most. It’s not as horror-forward as some sites seem to indicate, but there is a bit of blood scattered throughout to go along with the sporadic violence. Model House gets a solid recommendation.

Model House is currently available for rental and purchase on VOD sites including Amazon Prime Video.

Further Reading

Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.