Plot: After the death of his eccentric aunt, Roger Cobb (William Katt) returns to the home he grew up in and has now inherited. His life is in a bit of chaos, as his son disappeared, his marriage dissolved, and he faces intense pressure for his next book. He wants to pen a memoir of his Vietnam experiences, but the public and his publisher wants another scary novel instead. Once he visits the old house, Roger decides to stay for a while and write his book there. Away from all the pressure, he thinks he can focus and relax, but of course, things aren’t that simple. His aunt was convinced the house was haunted and as some odd things begin to happen, Roger wonders if she was right. But he has a book to write and a nosy neighbor (George Wendt) to contend with. Is the house truly haunted or has Roger simply cracked under all the pressure?
Entertainment Value: I’m not much of a fan of horror comedies, but House is one that gets the formula right. The story seems simple enough, a guy moves into a perhaps haunted house and teeters on the brink of sanity, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. But its really about Roger battling his own demons and given his current situation, that’s a lot of demons. William Katt is terrific here, balancing humor and madness well. His scenes with George Wendt are a lot of fun, with Wendt really nailing the nosy, unwanted neighbor role. The movie has good humor, but it also brings some good horror elements to the table, even if they’re not that intense. The creature effects are excellent and fun to watch in action, while the medicine cabinet scene offers some solid tension. Obviously the scale slants toward humor over horror, but genre fans should still find a lot to like here. House seems like a movie that shouldn’t have been so effective, as few films of this kind work, but it all comes together well and it remains a genre staple.
No nakedness. There is some blood, but its minor and non graphic. But it does have great creature effects, which help offset the lack of bloodshed. A number of detailed, often gross creations are on showcase here. The possessed marlin trophy was a personal favorite, especially how Katt interacts with it. But that is one of the smaller creatures, as some as full sized, fully realized creatures. A gruesome ex wife monster torments Roger, a flying bat freak appears, and of course, Ben’s final form is quite cool. The level of detail is impressive, down to the intricate facial expressions on some of them. So again, not much blood, but some very cool effects nonetheless. There is some fun dialogue here, especially between Wendt and Katt. Not super quotable stuff per se, but solid, fun exchanges. House earns some crazy points for the creature effects, odd humor, and surreal moments, but the comic slant does lessen that insanity to an extent. Even so, this is still a decently odd duck.
Overall Insanity: 4/10