1 October 2007 | The_Void
Dreary horror comedy
Well...despite the fact that many people find this film funny, I really can't say it did much at all for me. I found The House in Nightmare Park to be derivative, unimaginative and really rather boring - Frankie Howerd in the lead role didn't do much for me either. Horror films (and horror comedies) about a family/bunch of people in an old house always seem to revolve around a hidden fortune, and this film is no different, which is a shame. The film is directed by Peter Sykes, who also directed two of the lesser Hammer films in To The Devil a Daughter and Demons of the Mind, and while this film is actually slightly better than those two; it didn't do anything to improve my opinion of the man at the helm. The plot focuses on Foster Twelvetrees, an actor who is hired by the mysterious and sinister Henderson family to perform at the house. It soon transpires that somewhere on the property is buried treasure, and naturally everyone in the house wants to find it - and they're happy to do that, even if it does mean bumping off the others in the process.
The film is meant to be a horror comedy, although it doesn't provide a balance between the two - rather, it's a comedy with some atmosphere and a creaky old house thrown in. Frankie Howerd is a popular comedian for a reason, but all the same; his style of humour doesn't appeal to me much. There's nothing particularly wrong with his performance in this film; he leads it well and keeps things mostly interesting. There aren't a great deal of standout moments in the film and a lot of the jokes aren't funny. The plot moves well, but it's always obvious where it's going, especially for me since I've seen this sort of thing many times before. Ray Milland pops up in a supporting role and gives the film a bit of much needed class. The locations aren't bad and the country house itself is a foreboding presence. The ending doesn't come as much of a surprise, although the build up to it is the best part of the film. The House in Nightmare Park has its fans, but as I've made quite clear - I'm not one of them!