Plot: After a brutal home invasion that involved horrific sexual violence, a crew of criminals moves on and finds a new target, the home of a wealthy scientist and his family. The break-in goes as planned and interrupts the family’s dinner, which leads to the expected intimidation and violence. The scientist has little recourse to protect himself and his loved ones, as the thugs have no mercy and invade with a relentless level of aggression. But after seeing the criminals hurting the people he loves, the scientist is pushed beyond his natural limits and turns to the one potential solution, one that might kill him, but will also eliminate the invaders. One of his darkest experiments has been ongoing in his own home, but if he unleashes the horrors within his secret lab, can anyone survive the torrent of violence that follows?
Entertainment Value: Dead House blends two popular horror genres, with a home invasion narrative that erupts into a zombie outbreak, an odd mix perhaps, but handled here with a dark, often ruthless approach. This one starts off with a wild, relentless home invasion scene that involves some intense sexual situations and violence, so it grabs your attention right out of the gate. Dead House isn’t able to maintain that level of nastiness for the rest of the movie, but it does shift to an interesting take on home invasion cinema and is never dull, to say the least. The story is fine, but the dialogue is a little stilted and overdone, which can lead to some slower stretches. But if you can handle some oddly written and delivered lines, you should be fine and in truth, not a lot of horror movies have masterful prose, to be kind. At under 80 minutes, Dead House never lingers even in those slower moments, so it is a brisk watch and doesn’t waste your time with filler like some genre films do. So if you like the idea of a home invasion thriller crossed with a zombie-esque massacre, give this one a shot.
One of the opening scenes of Dead House features a lovely rear view of a gentleman, while his large balls dandle in our vision, as part of a scenario where parents are forced to have sex in front their own children. This is a rousing start to the festivities and while the sleaze peaks in that opening sequence, there is still the expected sexual tension in later home invasion scenes. The movie delivers some fun bursts of practical gore and often lets us see it all in vivid detail, such as a head being caved in with a rock that yields a messy end result. The zombie makeup is effective and has a cool look, which adds some production value gloss and that never hurts. You do have some CGI bloodshed as well, but at least some of the effects are practical in this case. As I mentioned before, the dialogue here is one of Dead House’s weaker elements, so not many fun or wild lines, just a little unintentional humor here and there. The movie has a dark, bleak tone, so I guess the dearth of wacky lines makes sense. As such, the lack of general craziness is also understandable, though the opening scene’s madness stands out and once the zombies are out, some wild moments are uncorked.
Overall Insanity: 2/10
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