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“Horror novelist Roger Cobb is a man on the edge, reeling from his recent divorce, haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his young son, and struggling with his new book about his traumatic experiences in Vietnam. But when he moves into the strange house left to him by his late aunt, Roger’s precarious sanity comes under siege by nightmares of his dead war buddy, visits from a nosy neighbor, and an onslaught of hideous creatures from another dimension. Horror has found a new home, and it’s fully furnished with murder, monsters and madness!
William Katt (The Greatest American Hero), George Wendt (Cheers), Richard Moll (Night Court) and Kay Lenz (Stripped to Kill) star in this outrageously scary horror hit, produced by Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) and directed by Steve Miner (Warlock, Halloween: H20).”
Director: Steve Miner
Starring: William Katt, George Wendt, Kay Lenz, Richard Moll
Watch the Trailer
Watching the House movies, you can’t help but wonder if there was a focus group that decided people wanted to see their favorite characters from 80’s sitcoms in a Friday the 13th type movie. House is no slasher film by any means, but it does share a director, producer, composer, and even a stunt coordinator who played Jason Voorhees with the horror franchise. The 80’s sitcom element is covered by Norm Peterson from Cheers (George Wendt) and Bull from Night Court (Richard Moll).
Roger Cobb (William Katt) is a recently divorced horror novelist who is tormented by the mysterious disappearance of his son. He moves into the home of his recently deceased aunt in an effort to focus on finishing his memoir about his experiences in the Vietnam war. His tendency to indulge in fantasy initially manifests in his flashbacks to the war inspired by his writing and is escalated when real life encounters with strange monsters haunting the house begin. The house having been where his son went missing doesn’t help his sense of reality and Roger begins to believe it’s somehow responsible for his disappearance. He tricks his neighbor Harold with the promise of beer and a movie into helping him fight the creatures lurking in the old home. Initially star struck by the famous author, Harold is happy to help until he realizes that Roger isn’t just acting out his writing process, the monsters are real.
Sadly, the only character lacking in this movie is the lead, Roger Cobb. He’s not particularly likable, maybe it’s just our distaste of deep-v sweaters over bare chests, but we never found ourselves rooting for him. George Wendt is a lot of laughs and it’s great to see him in a horror movie, the only downside to his performance is that it left us wanting more. House also features Richard Moll as Roger’s Vietnam buddy, Kay Lenz as Roger’s ex wife, and brief cameos by Mindy Sterling (Frau Farbissina from the Austin Powers movies) and Steven Williams (Captain Fuller on 21 Jump Street and Mulder’s first informant, Mr. X, on The X-Files).
House is filled with great practical effects and creative monsters mixed in with fun, almost slapstick, scenarios. There’s a definite Evil Dead influence which is especially obvious in a scene when a wall mounted Swordfish comes to life only to be struck down by Roger with a shotgun. Like many other films from the 80’s, House presents an almost childlike viewpoint of the suburbs where the world feels limited to the small section of houses where the story takes place. Think The Evil Dead meets The ‘Burbs and you’ll have House!