Film » Film Capsules

House

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No, not a remake of that gloppy camped-up 1986 poltergeist movie of the same name - nor a theatrical outing for the grouchy TV doctor. No, this House, directed by Robby Hanson, adapts a novel by Christian-specialty-market horror authors Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, who also co-produced (and filmed in Poland with a largely Yank cast). Triter-than-thou premise has two couples in the Alabama backwoods getting stranded at a spooky old inn, where a masked serial killer called Tin Man and his Satan-worshipping co-conspirators (the real Devil’s Rejects, you might say) try to terrorize them into murdering each other, in the process making each victim face his/her particular burden of sin. You’ll mostly detect the Judeo-Christian underpinnings only in the lack of swearing, splatter and nudity. Otherwise, with herky-jerky plotting, atmospherically tilted camerawork and dialogue that seems badly translated, this feels remarkably similar to the febrile supernatural, quasi-Catholic Euro-thrillers from Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Michele Soavi etc. that played the grindhouse circuit in the ’70s and ’80s. All that’s missing are maggoty zombies, lascivious nuns and a cult-cinema geek like Quentin Tarentino trying to convince you that this stuff really isn’t as lousy as it is. H 1/2

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