HOUSE (horror thriller)
Directed by Robby Henson
Starring Michael Madsen, Allana Bale, J.P. Davis, Reynaldo Rosales, Bill Moseley, Leslie Easterbrook, Julie Ann Emery, Heidi Dippold, Pawel Delag, Weronika Rosati
HOUSE starts with a promising premise but quickly degenerates into a cliche-ridden, confusing horror thriller.I say “promising” because its opening sequences remind us of scenarios in The Haunting and Vacancy, where a young quarrelsome couple find themselves trapped in a frightmarish motel.
However, promise quickly transforms into disappointment when we are taken into The Wayside Inn and one of the characters comments that it is like a scene in an Agatha Christie movie.
Well, in an Agatha Christie film, we do get elements of mystery, wit and suspense. This House is devoid of such thrills. It’s full of copycat scenes, horrible acting and inane plotting.
Adapted from the novel by Ted Dekker and Frank E. Peretti, the movie is meant to deal with the ravages of guilt and the usual battle between good and evil.
Estranged couple Jack and Stephanie (Reynaldo Rosales and Heidi Dippold) find themselves stranded in the woods of Alabama when their car is involved in an accident.
With no cell phone coverage and no help in sight, they have no choice but to take shelter at The Wayside Inn.
Inside, they find another couple, Randy and Leslie (J.P. Davis and Julie Ann Emery), in the same predicament, having to accept the “hospitality” of the weird inn owners (Leslie Easterbrook and Bill Moseley) and their mentally-retarded, sinister-looking son Pete (Lew Temple).
However, before the guests can get comfortable, they discover that the inn is under attack by a homicidal maniac known as Tin Man (Michael Madsen)!
I have not read the book but I am sure that the authors had some moral theme in mind for the story.
However, instead of concentrating on it, director Robby Henson takes us on a fishing expedition in previous horror-thriller waters, trying to net some scary moments from them.
The result is a confusing mismatch of chases and flashbacks that meekly suggest that this House (purgatory?) is where the protagonists revisit their sins. But never mind, the idea is only half-baked, anyway.
It doesn’t take an experienced movie-goer to see that the actors have not been properly motivated for their roles.
In some of the scenes, we sort of expect the cast to break out into laughter at the silly stuff they are doing and saying.
If the acting is generally lame, the production also looks cheap.
Marcin Koszalka’s cinematography keeps many of the action sequences blurred and out-of-focus, and the same may be said for the editing, especially of the flashback montages.
House is the second novel by Dekker and Peretti to have been adapted for the screen by director Henson. The first was Thr3e in 2006. Let’s hope there won't be a third.
by - Lim Chang Moh
Jumaat, Februari 27, 2009