Horror novelist Roger Cobb is a man on the edge, reeling from his recent
divorce, haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his young son, and
struggling with his new book about his traumatic experiences in Vietnam.
But when he moves into the strange house left to him by his late aunt,
Roger's precarious sanity comes under siege by nightmares of his dead war
buddy. Horror has found a new home, and it's fully
furnished with murder, monsters, and madness!
"Damn! Come back from the grave and ran out of ammunition."
- Big Ben
As far as campy
"B" rated horror/comedy films go, House ranks up there near the top. First
of all, look at the cast. You have an ensemble of television stars getting
into the big screen using this film as their vehicle. George Wendt and
William Katt are prime examples of this. Their acting level is below minimal
standards and you can really tell that they are acting. You never really
see the struggle of Cobb trying to write his manuscript for his next novel
while having to deal with the demons in the house. You never really understand
why Wendt is against Katt so adamantly. You never really get an answer
as to why he stayed in that house and dealt with the spirits the way that
he did instead of just bolting out the door after the first scream. There
are several questions unanswered and plenty of cheapness to this film,
but ... and get this ... that is what makes it phenomenal.
Let's take a
deeper look at this film. To begin it is a horror/comedy made in the 80s,
which already sets the standard. The 80s were notorious for brining to
light the horror/comedy genre and they made no exception here. The set
and sound are not the best in this film, while the monsters are completely
80s (for lack of a better word). You can definitely see the differences
between gory monsters of today, and those made yesteryears. There seems
to be a focus on the absurd in the 80s, instead of the grotesque and unbelievable
of today's standards. This is a cheesy film, and it was meant to be. That
is definitely something I miss with today's films. I saw it briefly in Shawn
of the Dead, but it still hasn't come full circle yet. The set, cinematography,
and acting were all perfect for this film. When I watched this movie again
with some friends, there were some that had not seen it and jumped on several
occasions. That says to me that it has maintained a fright factor. You
can tell if a horror film has lasted the test of time if nearly 20 years
later others are still jumping.
What also worked
perfectly in this film was the comedy aspect. I don't know if it was trying
to go for the sub-genre of parody, but there were scenes that I saw in
this film that reminded me of some of the classics like The Shining, Nightmare
on Elm Street, Ghoulies, and Evil Dead. It was a very
good mix that worked exceptionally well in building that extra chuckle
whenever Cobb did something you know is absurd. He is the perfect example
of your uneducated hero. When he should be running outside to regroup and
collect his ideas, he is instead running upstairs where the terror is greater.
Whenever he attempted to write, but was constantly interrupted by ghouls,
goblins, or even the neighbor, it made me smile. He was not your average
hero, yet somehow I found myself cheering for him at the end.
was your average "cult" horror film that the 80s were notorious for. If
you walk into this film expecting today's standards, you will be disappointed.
If you go into it thinking of what the 80s were like, especially in the
horror genre in Hollywood, I think you will be utterly surprised. I have
seen this film several times, and it continues to get better each time
I watch it. Katt does a superb job with the material and experience that
he has, and nearly rockets himself into a Bruce Campbell clone. Well ...
almost ... I don't think Campbell's status could ever be compromised! Enjoy
... scream ... and have a good time. Just watch out for when that clock
hits midnight, you never know what parallel universe may be clumping around
in your closet ...
son is played by Steve Miners actual son Robert Joseph Miner.
- The giant "War Demon" that attacks Roger through the closet door
was made to signify the dead soldiers of Vietnam and the horrific memories
that Roger brought back with him.
walkout of the house (which looks concrete) was created with plywood for
Roger is writing his book he looks up to a film playing on the television.
The film he's watching is "Don't Look In The Basement."
pink phone that Harold uses to call Tanya was Steve Miner's home phone.
African American police officer in "House" is played by Steven
Williams. Steven also plays the role of Creighton Duke in Friday
the 13th: Part 9 - Jason Goes to Hell.
Hodder (actor who plays Jason Voorhees) was the stunt coordinator for this