Thursday, October 25, 2012

Week of Reel Whorror!: Who Wants a Clean House?! - Day 1

As Carol Anne would say, They're here. While I've been a complete blog slacker most of this year, there was no way in hell I'd let Halloween go by without resurrecting my Week of Reel Whorror!. For those savvy horror fans, I have no doubt you've deduced this year's theme is houses!. If it's gloomy and creaks or is home to a family of freaks, for the next seven days we'll be taking up residence. If it's got a roof, four walls, and a door that's keeping otherworldly denizens at bay, we'll be part of the group of idiots dumb enough to snoop around.



Release: 02.28.86
Rated R
1 hour, 33 minutes


Roger Cobb’s (William Katt) writing career and marriage falls apart after his son mysteriously vanishes from the house of his Aunt Elizabeth (Susan French). After his aunt’s passing, Roger moves into her house and starts penning his latest project, his Vietnam War autobiography, hoping the book will end his terrible wartime flashbacks of his buddy, Big Ben (Richard Moll). However, the house, always thought to be haunted, has plans of its own for the tortured writer.
Billed as a horror-comedy, House is successful at satisfying both descriptors with jump scares, outlandish monsters, and riotous dialogue delivered with deadpan seriousness. William Katt, portraying Roger at first as a tired, suffering writer turns him quickly down the path of full blown looney tunes once the house intimidates him with self-propelled hand tools, flopping fish mounts, and grotesque harbingers. The nervous wreck that Roger becomes is at his most hilarious when he simultaneously flirts with his sexy neighbor and keeps a bloated zombie from wriggling out from under a tarp. The role is also quite physical for Katt; he’s tossed down stairs, into pools of water, and dragged around for a substantial chunk of the story.
Pairing Katt with George Wendt is pure genius. Wendt, who plays Roger’s neighbor Harold, has the role of oblivious neighbor down to a tee. His delivery of the line, “solitude’s always better with someone else around,” still has me cracking up as does his reaction to Cujo, the raccoon. As Big Ben, Richard Moll gets to chew up the scenery by playing crazy with a capital K and shooting up most of the sets.
Following the plot of House isn’t quite as enjoyable. While it’s clear the house is haunted, the supernatural logistics of the house are somewhat at odds with the overarching premise. Sorry if that’s too vague, but I don’t want to give too much away in case you still haven’t had a chance in the last twenty-six years to watch it. All I can say is, House is just further proof of how good the drugs were in the 80s.
Sometimes shocking, sometimes confusing, and sometimes just plain weird, House is entirely entertaining. If you have been putting off viewing it, queue it up before its thirtieth anniversary for a good laugh.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

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