House, A classic horror film from our childhood was showing on the Horror Channel so we could not resist a re-visit.
The film is about a troubled horror author, Roger Cobb (William Katt). Currently separated from his wife Sandy (Kay Lenz) and dealing with the mysterious disappearance of their son, he is under immense pressure from his publishers to release a new book.
Roger however plans to not deliver a new horror story, he is planning a novel based on his experience in the Vietnamese war.
On top of all of this, for no reason, his aunt has hung herself. After the funeral, rather than sell her house, he moves in for a change of scenery to write his book.
Once in the House, he starts to have nightmares, in particular to what happened in Vietnam, especially those about Big Ben (Richard Moll) who died there. As well as the nightmares, strange things start happening, including finding a monster in the closet.
He tries to tell his fears to Harold (George Wendt) his neighbour, but he doesn’t believe him. Soon the nightmares get more frequent, as even garden tools try to attack him.
Strange creatures in the fireplace try to kidnap a child he is babysitting; he gets seduced by not the most attractive of monsters; a local dog is digging up body parts from the garden and a zombie version of Big Ben blames him for his death.
As Roger battles these creatures, he discovers the house is connected to another world, where he will find his missing son and eventually have to face off with Big Ben.
Unlike many films from our past, House still was great fun, we love the old school creature effects and it is not anything like some of the ‘torture porn’ films we get these days.
The film is a well-paced 98 minutes and whilst the monsters may not be CGI, characters like the animatronic Big Ben certainly have a lot of character.
Directed by Steve Miner, director of such films as Halloween H20; Warlock and Lake Placid from a story by Fred Dekker (Monster Squad) adapted by Ethan Wiley, who would go on to write & direct House II: The Second Story.
The only connection to the original house is the haunted house aspect (and that is also starred an actor from Cheers, John Ratzenberger). It was also played more for laughs than the horror/comedy feel of the original
The film again proved a modest success, so much so The Horror Show, with no real connection at all, in look or feel, was rebranded House III, to cash in on the previous 2 films popularity. A final film House IV went straight to DVD but did at least bring William Katt back to the franchise as Roger Cobb.
If honest, none of the 3 sequels captured the original’s magic. House III probably being the best of them from memory, in part due to performances from Brion James and Lance Henriksen (however the story was done much better by the similar film, Shocker, from Wes Craven)
The film’s producer, Sean S. Cunningham in 2015 told Fangoria magazine that a reboot was considered but with a female lead, but this does not seem to have progressed any further.
The film was rereleased by Anchor Bay and you can find it on Amazon here or you can check the schedules of Horror Channel should they repeat it.
Are you a fan of House? Did you like any of the sequels? Would you like to see a reboot? We would love to hear from you.
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