I found this movie quite lame, particularly for an original, and even lamer still given the lead actor. I felt a much younger character would be a better fit to the film’s goings on. I’d happily 86 the whole Vietnam plot and everything that comes oddly with it. The fact that his movie has actually won awards saddens me a little. I get the feeling that some of the special effects are intentionally crappy, which doesn’t help matters. The fact that I didn’t actually laugh at anything in this so-called horror comedy until the 34-minute mark is yet another of many nails in House’s coffin. Unfortunately it was never meant to stay shut.
Ay-yi-yi! A bad situation can only get worse… At least that’s pretty much the staple cynical assumption for every sequel in a horror franchise. And if it’s actually possible, the make-up and special effects are even worse this second time around. But if you’re not a glutton for punishment, then the making of documentary might be a better fit for you. While you may not care what they are talking about, at least you’re not watching the actual movie! I film itself…was just too silly to me. Half the puppets look cutesy and playful. And the rest couldn’t scare your fun-of-the-mill family kitty-cat. The sets do have a whimsical appeal, however, but I found it all to be too, not childish, but child-like. Like Creepshow with no balls. Make of that what you may. It’s just not for me. I do have a sneaking suspicion, though, had I seen this as a kid I’d have loved it and would still be loving it. But I guess that train passed me by.
‘The first cut is the deepest’ sang Cat Stevens. Ain’t it the truth! House III was the first instalment of this uneven quadrilogy I ever laid eyes on. It was one of those horror movies you’d find playing at 2am in the morning on Bravo along with the likes of Sleep Stalker and Jason Takes Manhattan. It has everything a horror sequel should have. Gruesome kills. OTT nightmare sequences. And Lance Henriksen. I particularly like the villain’s weapon of choice; his trusty meat cleaver. He’s got quite the twisted mind but the boyfriend murder scene ventures into homoerotic territory for some weird reason. One of the sicker scenes which has remained with me since childhood is the woman legs poking out of a meat grinder. Was the scene cut down in this case, or do these things just seem longer in memory? I may never know. This movie was originally unrelated to the House series. It should’ve stayed that way.
Back with the original series once again, this movie is actually a step in the right direction. Rather embarrassingly, as I’ve just witnessed this film for the first time, I think I found the pizza face scene a little bit more disturbing than I should have. It instantly reminded me of that “What’s in the basket?” scene from Basket Case. You know, the one where Belial turns a female surgeon’s face into a human scalpel tray. Lovely! Anyways, I felt this was one of the movie’s main strengths. It had some clever, unexpected scares. And their strangeness only enhanced the horror show being put on. The lead from the original returns and the result is possibly some of the worst continuity ever put on film. For example: the character had a child in the first movie, and in this one that child has changed sexes! Believe me, it wasn’t for the sake of diversity! It may be the fourth instalment, but with its spirit, execution and kookiness I would say it’s the 2nd best in this odd collection.
I’d ask why this particular series needed restoration, but then again that’s what companies like Arrow do. They like to revitalise the runts of cinematic litter. And all runts should be rescued and cared for, if for no other reason than that we just plain pity them. I hold my hopes out for individual releases…