Sunday, August 14, 2011

Horror Film Review

House of Fears (2007):    Huh?  Oh, right.  So I watched this the other night on the Netflix live-streaming thing.  The movie poster brings to mind some truly awful horror from the 1980s, and not awful in a good way.  I'm talking Troll-awful.  The problem with this movie isn't that it's terrible, it's that it's so damn dull.  ('s a bit terrible, too.)

An excavation in Africa unearths a small, stone statue that looks suspiciously like the one in the Exorcist prequel.  Mayhem and death ensue upon its discovery, although who killed whom and how is a bit murky.  The woman in charge of the dig (Cyndey Neil, a real-life haunted attraction owner inexplicably playing herself)and her driver take the statue and run like hell.  Back in the States,  a group of bored teens decide to sneak into Neil's House of Fears the night before its grand opening.  Before they show up, security guard Hamadi (Kelvin Clayton) finds the boxed-up statue, takes a peek, and of course unleashes the evil demon.  Don't get excited.  You never get to see its true form.  It possesses a dog, and then various mannequins and dummies.  Sure, it animates clowns and scarecrows as it kills off the really stupid kids, but how many times have we seen that before? 

The last two alive are Samantha (Corri English) and her step-sister Hailey (Sandra McCoy), girls who hated each other at the beginning of the film, but now they must...ah, you know the drill.  You also won't be surprised to know that Samantha's fear is scarecrows and that in the final battle scene, the demon takes the form of...yes, you guessed it...a scarecrow.  Good grief.  It wouldn't have been so tedious if there had been decent blood or even humor.  What we end up with is a forgettable film full of forgettable characters being killed off by a forgettable villain.  I think I'll skip to The Verdict early.  So should you see House of Fears?  Forget about it (that sounds better if you picture an aging mob guy saying it).

Jeez...still have to do The Breakdown:

Acting:  The mannequins (not the possessed ones) showed more life than this cast.  Wooden, leaden, absolutely...blah.  I bet you ten bucks there are some pissed off drama professors out there who'd like a few words with their former students.
Story:  Recycled, unoriginal as the laws of physics will allow.
Direction:  Somebody needs to tell director Ryan Little that he should finish reading Hollywood Movie Directing for Dummies first before actually giving it a go.
Production Values:  They get away with cheap sets because the film takes place in a haunted Halloween attraction.  Other than that, all I can say is that I've seen much worse.
Gore/FX:  Not nearly enough of either.  The TV show Bones is more grisly and bloody.  No CGI, even though it could have used some to make it at least vaguely interesting. 
Scares:  Oh, you may jump at the cheesy, funhouse "gotcha" moments.  Instead of laughing afterwards, you'll probably just be irritated like I was. 
The Ending:  The point is that it ended.  They do that thing where the pieces of the smashed statue start wiggling as if they're going to come together...and once again release hell on earth!  Um, no.  Don't think so.  It's been four years and no sequel.  So the film has well and truly ended. 

Some people ask me what my greatest fear is.  Want to know?  It's that crap movies like this will get a sequel.  Honestly, it keeps me awake at night.

My Rating:  1 out of 5 stars.

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