18 January 2008 | mrtimlarabee
There is really no way to correctly rate this strange experiment of a film
About 2 months after obtaining this title, I've not been able to find words to describe this movie, other than strange and bizarre. Depending on your mood it's either a noble failure or a triumph in film making. I couldn't use the terms ground breaking to describe it, but there's something important about the texture of this film.
Imagine John Hughes and Sam Raimi kicking back and doing some hard drugs and deciding to make a movie together. It might look like this. It spends a good amount of time before it gets anywhere, focusing on four teen girls whose names seem to support their abilities, expertise, or interests. At this point, it plays almost like an average teen rom-com. But note the campy soundtrack, dancing school girls, and some rather strange almost comic book like backgrounds.
It starts getting interesting as the girls set forth to movie's namesake house. They flashback and do storytelling in the form of a silent movie. We get to see some slapstick characters which don't belong in a horror movie, and we have a roll call of our four heroines as they head off into the woods. Enter the House alluded to in the film's title.
So the horror begins. But this is Sam Raimi style horror. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of this inspired Evil Dead - if the film was available - who knows. There's a whole series of odd scenes. Most notable is the infamous piano scene, where a piano devours someone. But that's not all. There's an evil kitty, a clock the spills out blood ala Evil Dead, a river of blood and some kooky camera work and odd cut aways! "Ambitious" might be the operative word to describe this movie. When I watch it, I'm not quite sure if it all works. The effects are crude, but not in the Ed Wood "you can see the strings" style. For me, some of it is like reading a comic book. They're bigger than life, not meant to scare you in the classical sense. But it is unlike anything you've seen before.
I guess if I have any gripe about the film, it's that it takes a good while to get really fun, but when you get there, it's an insane joyride. But it's not a normal movie viewing experience and a rating does not serve it well. Watch it for yourself - and it probably wouldn't hurt to have a drink or two while doing so.