July 14, 2016

Random Movie of the Week Review: House (2008)

"Not nearly as bad as we expected it to be."

Every week, we sit down, surf through the Netflix and On Demands of the world, find ourselves a random, B-Grade Horror flick that we've never seen, and watch it. Sometimes we're surprised with how they turn out, and sometimes they're just as bad as we expect them to be. 

Either way, it makes for a good time. This is one of those films.

We weren't expecting much from House, as it's a direct-to-video effort that boasts Michael Madsen as its biggest name (we love the guy, but he is in A LOT of bad movies.) Then we saw that it also had Bill Moseley, Leslie Easterbrook, and Lew Temple in it, and that it was based on a book that got some pretty good reviews, so we though "Hey, this might not be so bad after all."

And it wasn't.

After the death of their daughter, Jack and Stephanie decide to go and see a marriage counselor, because they're having a rough time. While speeding along the back roads of Alabama, Jack gets them lost. Lucky or them, local Cop Michael Madsen is nearby to give them directions back to the highway... which involves taking a "Shortcut" down a creepy dirt road. That should work out well.

Still driving like a jerk, Jack drives over some debris, leaving them stranded with two flat tires on the deserted old road. There's also another car a few feet away that suffered the same fate, which is probably a good sign. Like any rational person would do, they decide to continue down the dirt road on foot, which leads them to the Wayside Inn, which looks like a crackhouse in disrepair. They've gotta have a phone though, right? And probably ghosts.

Turns out that the Wayside Inn is some sort of spiritual way station for evil souls, and those evil souls like to eat troubled souls, or stranded motorists, or some such shit like that. All I know is that Jack and Stephanie, along with another stranded couple, have to fight for their lives against the Inn's homicidal staff, and some creepy dude named The Tin Man, who writes messages on tin cans, and wants a sacrifice before dawn, or everyone dies.

Don't ask.

House is nothing you haven't seen before. It's a very typical Backwoods Horror story, that kinda reminded us of Wrong Turn. It also felt a bit like The Hills Run Red, as The Tin Man kinda gave off a Babyface vibe with his mask and the way that he talked, which was cool. There was also a strong hint of Saw thrown in there with the way that The Tin Man wanted everyone to "play his game" and pitted them against each other.

But it's also based on a fairly successful book that has a Christian bent to it, so I suppose it is different in a way. Now, I'm not all about being preached to while I watch a movie, which is why Kirk Cameron and his shitty rapture movies can suck it, but this one was pretty subtle about it until the ending. The part with the white light was kinda neat in a way, and even though it ended on one of those "You have to appreciate the life that you've got" notes, it didn't piss us off all that much.

I know that doesn't sound like much of a ringing endorsement, but trust me; when a movie like this doesn't piss us off, that's a good thing, because so many do.

The cast did a pretty good job here too, with Bill Moseley being his usual, awesome self; and Michael Madsen, Leslie Easterbrook and Lew Temple doing their genre shtick fairly well.

There was no shortage of violence throughout this one, although none of it was particularly over-the-top; heads are smashed, people are shot, stabbed, and cut. People also bleed black smoke and white light in this one too, so...

No nudity in this one, but damn does Julie Ann Emery ever know how to wear a low-cut outfit to perfection.

I'm not saying that House is a great movie at all, but it is a decent movie, and one that surprised us by not making us want to throw the remote through our TV screen. Don't pay to see it, but if you ever find yourself looking through your On Demand menu for something to kill time with, you could do worse than giving this one a go.


We watched House on Cinemax On Demand, but it's also available on DVD and VOD.


We had no idea while watching this one that Julie Ann Emery was the chick from both Better Call Saul and Fargo.

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