Directed By: Steve Miner
Starring: William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz
Subgenre: Supernatural, Haunted House
Synopsis: Novelist Roger Cobb moves into his recently deceased aunt’s house to work on his latest novel. The house just happens to be the place where his son Jimmy disappeared. Strange things start to happen and Roger soon discovers that this is no ordinary house.
Thoughts: I’ve watched House several times over my horror watching life. It is actually one of the earlier movies I remember watching, back in the VHS days. It definitely has a place in my heart and is something of a comfort to sit down and watch. That being said, it is far from a perfect movie. I often wonder if Steve Miner couldn’t decide on the direction in which he wanted to take this movie. At times it is pretty spooky, other times it comes off much more like a comedy. It is obviously influenced by Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, right down to the laughing stuffed fish on the wall emulating the deer from Evil Dead. The biggest problem is that Miner had William Katt, not Bruce Campbell to tie everything together, not that Katt did a bad job here.
Katt played Roger Cobb, a writer going through a difficult time in his life. His wife has left him after his son disappeared and his aunt has just committed suicide and left him a haunted house. He moves into the house (not knowing it is haunted) and begins to work on his book. All hell then proceeds to break loose.
While the FX may not be for everyone, I really enjoyed them. Everything is practical makeup, masks and puppets. At times this can look fairly fake, like in the ex-wife scene, but other times it looks pretty bad ass, like with Big Ben. Personally, I prefer the effort that goes into the practical FX.
The casting is pretty decent as well, with my only complaint being that of George Wendt’s character. It’s no fault of his own, but every time I see him, I think “NORM!” Whenever he appeared on screen, I was waiting for a joke or wisecrack, whether it was intended or not. This was one of the reasons that it was difficult to discern whether the movie was in a serious or funny moment. Another actor may have been able to pull the scenes together a bit better.
Overall, House is a fun watch, nothing too serious and some pretty cool makeup and creatures. I know I am biased, but I think it is something that horror fans should check out.