Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Seventy-eight - House, "No, not 'House, M.D.', but the cheesy eighties ghost story with Norm and Bull."

Alright, let me be the first to admit that House was a bit of a letdown for the inaugural weekend of horror flicks for our October Spooktacular.

It's strange. When I was a kid, I remember being scared out of my wits by the Bimbo Ghost and the two Ghoulies... and Big Ben's decayed GI all but scarred me for life. Obviously that never came to pass as, coming back to it after all these years, House really doesn't mess with me at all. Even the jump scares are just that, mild jumps because of surprise, not fear. Where once the levitating, homicidal gardening tools and flopping swordfish had me hiding my eyes, now all I can do is sigh in exasperation.

Maybe I've just become jaded over the years... as I also recall getting physically nauseous during the scene where Robert Patrick's T-1000 skewered John Connor's foster father. Or maybe it's just hard to take House seriously in context considering its supporting players where famous 80's sitcom goofballs. I mean, honestly, seeing George Wendt and Richard Moll trying to play serious, even scary roles pulls me right the heck out of the movie.

It doesn't help that the Vietnam flashback scenes all look like they're shot on a back lot somewhere or that the monsters that manage to crop up are more comical that creepy. The best one of the bunch is the first one you see, the closet demon that pops out exactly a midnight, and once that wad is blown, there's really no coming back for the movie.

Well, let me dial that back a bit, it tries to be a little clever just a scene or two later when the Bimbo Ghost shows up and you can't tell for sure whether it was actually his wife or the House just messing with him. To be fair, they seriously hint that she was the real deal just taken over by the House thanks to the peppy, cathartic breakup music the film has for its soundtrack during the burial scene. It felt a bit cheap for the real wife to show up at the end instead of pulling an actual Evil Dead and being forced to lose her in exchange for his son, but oh well. Maybe they figured there'd be too many complications from a Movie Star Mom going missing.

On the whole, House feels more like a made for TV movie than an actual horror flick... and it's hard to imagine why it got a hard R-rating aside from the few fleeting expletives that crop up. At worst, I think this was PG-13, closer to PG, but I'm not the MPAA of the 80's (or, the "now" for that matter), and you can probably guess how I feel about them in general.

So, this hasn't been the greatest start for our Spooktacular, but there's plenty of time left in the month for something really scary (and, hopefully, quality).

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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