ROGER COBB IS A VIETNAM VET. WHOSE CAREER AS A HORROR NOVELISTHAS TAKEN A TURN FOR THE WORSE WHEN HIS SON JIMMY MYSTERIOUSLYDISAPPEARS WHILE VISITING HIS AUNT'S HOUSE. ROGER'S SEARCH FORJIMMY DESTROYS HIS MARRIAGE AND HIS ... more »WRITING CAREER.« less
Not Even the Ghostbusters Would Want to Enter This House
Bruce Lee Pullen | Butler, IN USA | 11/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"House is a uniquely unpredictably droll haunted house flick that chronicles an ailing creatively challenged horror author's artistic rediscovery as he investigates his recently late-aunt's haunted house. As the novelist's perception of reality
becomes increasingly blurred, inanely blemished by unreality, and dispersedly interconnected with the subject matter of his new autobiographical book about the Vietnam War, the author finds himself killing off his estranged wife who's unpredictably been morphing into a monster, capturing monstrosities randomly annoying him from the guest room's closet, or hearing the despondent cries from his dead son. Despite the extremely morbid sounding nature of the House's plot, the film is actually a quite hilarious horror-comedy as it totally exploits your interest in it by erratically buoying its mood between terror and camp so effectively and confidently you can't keep track as to what's going on or how you're feeling as you're watching it. The House is such an awesome curiously innovative little film that contradicts ALL of you're expectations ,while delivering one heck of a revitalizing romp through horror irrelevance. You can't help but be assimilated into its capricious glee. As for the House 2, it's definitely geared more directly towards self-conscious camp and giddy B-Movie conventions by telling a tale of dueling late 19th century corpses bidding for magical skull. Regardless of its lack of horror, House 2 continues it's predecessor's preoccupation with exuberant unpredictably and immensely amusing comic delirium in the finest tradition of the Evil Dead series.As for the limited 20,000 copies edition, it does contain commentaries and a few interesting editions. However, it's these amazingly fresh horror-camp classics that you should be buying them for. Heavily recommended for anyone who adores any movie with hilarious undead in it."
Go William Katt!
Lucy | United States | 05/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't care what any of you think. "House" is fantastic! It was a funny and wonderful horror/comedy. It wasn't intended to be deep, or moving, or intelligent in the ways you speak of. And I am not a: a college student of b: desperate for entertainment and I really enjoyed it. But I can see where you're coming from when I take in the fact that you need a sense of humor to enjoy this movie. I thought it was fantastically funny and enjoyable. The acting was not terrible. This movie wasn't written by Shakespeare or directed by Stephen Spielberg or Stanley Kubrick after all. But the director of "House" did a fine job. If you do not enjoy movies that are meant purely for fun, you should not watch this. And if you are expecting Academy Award worthy performances from a low-budget eighties horror flick, (though William Katt was wonderful) don't watch this. But, if you enjoy great horror movies with some strange and low-budget effects and a darling leading man, watch "House". It is a great example of good work from its genre."
Our House is a very very very fine house...
A. Gyurisin | Wet, Wild, Wonderful Virginia | 12/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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. I need a rebirth of this genre. Less nudity, less gore, and more undeniably 80s monsters. I believe that people would still flock to see it. I know I would be in line. 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.
Overall, this 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 ...
Grade: **** out of *****"
Interview with 'House' writer Ethan Wiley
filmrob | 01/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I run a movie nostalgia site called 'Natsukashi,' in which we take a film that we have seen in our youth and have not viewed since, rewatch it through the eyes of an adult and then podcast the results. One contributor selected 'House,' and we were fortunate enough to be joined by 'House' writer and 'House 2' director Ethan Wiley for the podcast.
He was very open, fun and had a lot to say about both films, as well as many interesting nuggets of information about his earlier industry work at ILM (George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic), and Joe Dante's 'Gremlins.'
The entire interview I kept thinking that it would make a great DVD commentary, so if you wish to hear it, here's the link: http://natsukashi.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/episode-xxxv-house-with-its-writer-ethan-wiley/).
2 Houses For The Price Of One
Greg Carpenter | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2 DVD set includes House and House 2, two of the best genre movies of the 80's. House is a horror comedy while House 2 is a fantasy comedy. Together, they make a night of movie watching fun that you just can't beat easily. Both contain a commentary track, and I have to disagree with the previous review that the House 2 commentary track is the weaker of the two. I found the House 2 commentary to be very informative, more so than the House commentary. The House DVD also has a short "making of" featurette that doesn't really satisfy, but hey, that they were able to dig this footage up at all is amazing for a New World picture. Also included are two movie poster cards for both House and House 2, a nice touch by the fine folks of Anchor Bay. Finally, the transfers are beautiful, and the sound is clear. You just can't have a horror/genre DVD collection and not include these discs. But hurry, only the first pressing will have the bonus House 2 DVD.Just a quick note. I was first impressed by Anchor Bay with their Stepford Wives release. The remastered transfer of that film was remarkable, and they continue to provide quality genre home video. They are the standard for genre film releases."