House (1986)


Directed by: Steve Miner

Written by: Ethan Wiley

Story by: Fred Dekker


William Katt .... Roger Cobb
George Wendt .... Harold Gorton
Richard Moll .... Big Ben
Kay Lenz .... Sandy Sinclair

Special Appearances:

Mary Stavin .... Tanya
Michael Ensign .... Chet Parker
Alan Autry .... Cop #3
Steven Williams .... Cop #4
Stephen Nichols .... Scott

Release Dates: Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival: January, 1986; Theatrical: February 28, 1986; Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1989





A troubled novelist Roger Cobb (William Katt) has a history serving the Vietnam war as well as never finding his son whom supposedly was drowning in the pool of his aunt's home but his body never fully recovered in which this incident destroyed his marriage to Sandy Sinclair (Kay Lenz) as well as his writing career just doing autograph circuits.
After the suicide of his aunt he moves into the house inherited by her but realised that it's haunted with ghouls which harrows his journey into his past life.


Impressive horror start in the flick when we spot a delivery boy bicycling his groceries to the house which is owned by Aunt Elizabeth in which this delivery boy tries to look for her as everything is quiet which for sure leaves the chills and leaving a sinking feeling that something creepy or shocking is going to happen.
Nice setting of the funeral taking place on a rainy day as well as discussing on what had happened which was drawn in nicely too.
Many great takes on Roger at an autograph table on his latest novel with interactions on the fans talking to him and their personalities which offers alot of decent slapstick humor.
Perfect nightmare sequence when we spot a boy playing in an area of a garden and a zombie's hand shoots out of the ground as this was done in a perfect horror taste.
Nice timing when Roger Cobb goes to the house with the landlord talking to him which seemed good and sharp as well as some nice flashback memories when he looks at the swimming pool in the back of the yard which goes to his son drowning and him trying to dive in but can't find him at all as this all looked creepy and mysterious to watch wondering as to what happened. It was well done.
Also effective moment when Roger's wife Sandy Sinclair is grieving and Aunt Elizabeth tells them in a crazy way that it's the house that caused this which really looked well done with a crazy elderly woman in which this makes you wonder as to what she's talking about.
Another great moment when Roger goes into the room on what happened to Aunt Elizabeth returning as a ghost and warning him on what will happen there which was also well remembered to anyone who saw this giving it a great horror touch to it all.
Great uplifting moment with a greeting by the neighbor Harold Gorton and commenting that he's a fan on his books. Their conversations really flowed in well as well as showing some nice wit as to what was said too.
Then we get into a scary moment which will keep you watching in suspense as at night Roger goes to his closet to see if anything creepy is behind it but there's nothing so it gives you a relief to anyone who hates being scared but then later on a great camera shot on a grandfather clock striking midnight with him slowly approaching the closet door and cautiously about to open it again as this for sure looked creepy watching bit by bit on what might happen next.
Fun touches afterwards with him dressing up in his soldier uniform planning a trap to what's behind the closet and acting full of life on his plan which looked humoress to watch and a nice add into the story to make up for the scary moments to anyone who hates being scared.
Many effective flashback sequences with him in the Vietnam war in which made me wonder as to how this ties into what's happening now but then it unravels later on and seemed necessary for these moments to occur.
More hauntings happening which involves a swordfish hanging on a wall and then the next day Sandy comes to see him and catching him by surpsrise she's not who she seems to be which also offered great horror timing along with the comedy involved with this matter. Plus a perfect psychological situation on what he does and realising who he has shot wondering on what to do. Defientely makes you scared imaginin g if you were int his situation as well as the police coming by to check up on stuff as you wonder what he will do to try and hide on what he's done. Plus decent humoress moments when the officers realise that he's the famous author and being a little easier on him.
Funny moments on him battling against this monstrous female ghoul as the outfit looked cool and well put on as well as him slaughtering this creature plus putting her in a bag along with another lustful neighbor Tanya getting aquainted with him as well as him trying to step on this ghoul's hand so this being won't try and grab her and trying to prevent her by seeing what he has in his bag. This for sure worked in greatly.
More funny moments on Tanya popping by and manipulating Roger to babysit his son for a while as well as spotting the ghouls hand grabbing in the childs shirt along with him struggling to try and stop the madness which was funny to watch especially a scene with two ghoulish children dragging this child up a chimney as well as Roger trying to pull this child to safety as this makes you watch in suspense and humor at the same time.
Cute moments with Roger playing with this child while taking a bath as this seemed to work well into the story and looking natural.
Exciting moments when Roger tries to get Harold to plan the trap he's made where the closet is in which there's alot of suspense and action packed to what happens here as well as good special effects happening during this moment. Also an interesting moment when Roger is inside the clset leading to his past which was cleverly put into the story.
Another great moment when Roger discovers another dimension outside of his bathroom window and he climbs down on a rope to see what's below there along with a flying type of demon zooming around him and other stuff like that which looked terrific to watch for anyone who enjoys bizarre horror flicks.
Yet the best is yet to come when Roger himself thinks that the terror is over when his war buddy Big Ben returns from the dead and terroises him and the struggles that happens here in which there's good humoress sarcasm coming from this zombie as well as Roger trying to escape from him around the house and on the roof as well as the backyard leading to a dimension of him hanging from a cliff leading to an ocean and Big Ben trying to make him fall as this looked intense and effective to watch wondering if he will survive this terror that's happening around him.
Bottom line is that this film has many different twists and a strange movie that it is adding okay timing with the comedy along with the horror. I'm quite certain that both Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegal saw this flick and inspired them to make Evil Dead 2 since there's many similar elements to that one like what we see in this story. At times the story almost seems slow but then packs a punch before you know it. Worth checking out and a classic too.

The acting is very well performed in which William Katt (Roger Cobb) really got into his role a great deal showing a ton of spunk and energy into everything that goes on around him. Also knew on how to act prepared for certain things which looked natural by how he does this. Also shows some good wit when trying not to let others spot on what he's trying to hide. Also shows great energy while firing his weapon during his flashback moments fighting in the war. Knew on how to act full of life greatly when planning a trap and just jumping into action.
George Wendt (Harold Gorton) was a natural ham into his part of the story as the next door neighbor by acting overly friendly and believeably likeable by how he comes across onto the camera. Knew on how to show great enthusiasm with what he was talking about as well. Also does a great job with his anxious energy in certain spots especially with what he spots while helping someone trap a ghould from the closet. He always was a natural character actor and had a knack for comedy.
Richard Moll
(Big Ben) drew attention well into his role as a tough as nails soldier with his gruff speaking as well as knowing on how to suffer in pain for the moments he had to be this way. Nailed his part well with his sarcasm and cocky attitude too. Plus does well doing the voice over for when he's a zombie with his wicked and vengeful voice. Plus does well with his nasty sarcasm too acting like a perfect evil bully to top it off. Yep he had this all nailed down.
Kay Lenz (Sandy Sinclair) came across beautiful onto the camera as well as acting perfectly lively by what she's talking about. Also knew on how to grieve in a scene as well as being upsettingly aggressive too. Brought alot of this to life. I enjoyed her supporting role in this one.

Parts of a ghouls body are chopped off but nothing really gruesome here.

This is probably Harry Manfredini's best effort at composing a horror film as he uses various types of themes for most of the scene's involved. Alot of chiming sounds which works in well especially for the opening but yet for the opening he also uses bass violin playing which sounded slightly off. Yet alot of great heroic trombone playing especially near the ending of the story as this sounds marvellous. There's suspenseful violin music as always. Also some terrific synthesizer thumping music for the action involving someone returning from the dead and trying to come after the main character in t he film as this sounded dynamic. Yes two thumbs up for this composer.

[first lines]
Grocery Boy: Mrs. Hooper?

Harold: Hey, it's great to have a new neighbor. Woman lived here before you was nuts. Biggest bitch under the sun. Just a senile old hag really. Wouldn't be surprised if someone just got fed up and offed her. Know what I mean?
Roger: She was my aunt.
Harold: Heart of gold though. Just uh, a saint really. And uh such a beautiful woman, for her age.

Aunt Elizabeth: It won Roger. It tricked me. I didn't think it could, but it did. It's going to trick you too, Roger. This house knows everything about you. Leave while you can!
Roger: No!

Tanya: We should get together soon.
Roger: Absolutely!
Tanya: We're neighbors. We shouldn't be strangers.
Roger: I couldn't agree more at any other time.

Skeleton Big Ben: Sucker!
Roger: Big Ben?
Skeleton Big Ben: [Sarcastically] No. It's your fairy godmother.

Skeleton Big Ben: [Roger hits Ben with a chair] Roger you fight like a little girl!

Skeleton Big Ben: You're pissing me off, Roger!
[Machine gunfire]