Don't Go in the House (1979)

Directed by: Joseph Ellison

Written by:
Joseph Ellison, Ellen Hammill & Joe Masefield


.... Donny Kohler
.... Bobby Tuttle

Release Dates: Paris Festival of Fantastic Films: November 1979; Theatrical: March 28, 1980; Night Visions Film Festival: April 1, 2007; Iik!! Horror Film Festival: November 7, 2007




After being tortured by his abusive mother as a child, a disturbed construction worker Donny Kohler (Dan Grimaldi) stalks women only to take them to his house where he chains them up in a special steel-walled room and sets them on fire with a flamethrower.


In the beginning of the story there's a worker in a suit doing some duties in what looks like a boiler room as well as a close up shot on the inside of a boiler as there's a can of spray being burned as this of course is supposed to draw attention that there will be an explosion as it does just that with this person being caught on fire and although it's supposed to look intense it does that but the energy needed a bit of improvements on how others were reacting to this poor person nearly being burned to death.
When Donny Kohler arrives at home and calls to his mother things are silent as well as him going up the stairs with a mysterious caemra shot not revealing his mother fully which for sure makes you cringe thinking that she is dead. Sounds familiar to a Hitchcock classic? It seems to work quite well so far though but the story does become a drag later on. However there's creepy moments with sounds whispering towards him as this works well for a psychological horror flick.
A great disturbing flashback moment with Donny as a child and his mother torturing him when she is punishing him as this looked disturbing but how she was being evil didn't seem natural enough while watching this and looked slightly off.
As the story evolves he goes to a florist that's already closed for the evening but insists to get something for his mother which leaves a hint that this employee would be his first victim as well as she misses the last bus and he offers her a lift but told her he had to make a stop by his house as this leaves another clue to draw her in which leaves a nice deadly feel to everything.
Certainly there's a disturbing moment as to what happens to this victim with a good shot on this and Donny in his flamethrower suit. For people who don't like someone being burned to death that this scene isn't for you at all.
Things become more twisted when he is at a corner store and is persistant with a female customer offering her a ride to her home as we all know she could've been next and she storms out as fast as she can as Donny was making a jack ass out of himself and it shows big time. This moment looked a bit too obvious as we knew she would refuse his offer.
A nightmare sequence really tripped me out when he was walking on the beach at night and some zombies come crawling out of the sand after him as this is a nice horror feel to the story.
Nice strong conversation when Donny goes to a cathedral and speaks to
Father Gerritty about the devil and if he exists as well as other topics like that in which the moments were powerfully drawn into this scene.
Donny goes to the local disco with his workmate
Bobby Tuttle in which this looked like a fun ride all the way through with people dancing and enjoying themselves and a woman tries to drag him to the dance floor and he refuses but she keeps persisting as I had a dark feeling that he's going to do something and it certainly looked terrorising.
He picks up two partying teenage hitchhikers as he offers a party at his home but I knew on what he was going to be doing with them and it was done in fair style as to how they associate with one another while driving to his home.
Nice touches of Donny hallucinating with his dead mother approaching him as well as a dark secret on him in a room with burnt up corpses bawling them out and going insane which was another good psychological and twisted moment used in the story.
The final moments were one of the better parts in the story as both Bobby and
Father Gerritty trying to get into Donny's home and teacking him down as there's some suspenseful situations on what happens to this preacher.
Then Donny is being surrounded by this burned up corpses and flames surrounding him as this is a real teaser wondering if this is for real or is he just hallucinating.
Bottom line is that this is a ripoff to many other horror classics most notably Psycho. Although it's not that good nevertheless not as bad as it's reputed to be. Sure it's been done before and can get pretty bland it can be entertaining if you're in the mood for it.

The acting is pretty bad and only two main cast members so I will dig up on who's worth reviewing.... Ah yes our lead actor (Donny Kohler) was very stiff and wooden in his performance as he really can't pull it off at all and is just saying his lines and can't seem to pick up the energy whatsoever when he has to act intense or crazy. I've seen worst performances though but he can't get into character at all. He was barely intimidating by whatever he did to come across as a mentally disturbed psychotic killer.
(Bobby Tuttle) seemed to do a bit better and I do mean a bit. Had a nice guy and down to earth type of attitude which shines off as well as having a nice persona to whatever he does along with showing some fair energy when the actions starts in the scene's that he had to behave that way.
(Father Gerritty) had only a few scene's but thought that I'd mention him in which he offers a fair seriousness to what he's talking about as well as having a good kind attitude too. He fit the role pretty well as a preacher.
(Mrs. Kohler) was another cast member who had a small role in the film but stood out as the evil abusive mother. Well she was stiff in her role and needed alot of improvements but came off well onto the camera so that was a good pointer on her behalf.

A woman is tied up totally stripped from top to bottom.

Burnt up corpses are revealed but nothing too gruesome.

The music put together by Richard Einhorn was well put together in which it had a nice low budget horror feel to everything. Seemed to show some nice high pitched icy sounds along with the chimings. There's even some effective low sounds too as well as a wavy type of synthesizer tones which mainly involves on the darkness in the house. He deserves fair credit to what he did here.

Mrs. Kohler: Donald, come here.
Little Donny: No mother.
Mrs. Kohler: You're a bad boy.
Mrs. Kohler: You're evil, and you must be punished.
Little Donny: No mother, please don't.
Little Donny: I promise to be good.
Mrs. Kohler: Come here i said.
Little Donny: No mother, please no.
Mrs. Kohler: Your father let you do things like that, but he's gone now.
Mrs. Kohler: [while burning the childs arms above the stove] I burn the evil out of you.

Donny Kohler: [Donnie speaks to the 3 burned corpses of his victims] Fine all the thanks i get.
Donny Kohler: I bring you into my home, i give you love and shelter.
Donny Kohler: [Screams] Better than any of you ever had.
Donny Kohler: You turn on me.
Donny Kohler: I still let you stay.
Donny Kohler: Well... no more.
Body #1: [the corpses start to talk back] We hate you Donny.
Donny Kohler: What...
Body #2: We hate you.
Body #3: We always hated you.
Body #1: We won't forgive you.
Body #2: Want to be free, we'll be free, we'll be free.