House (1985) - IMDb

Day 25 of the NOFS podcast 31-day horror challenge has the theme of big old house. I knew that I was going to watch one of two movies, with the other being the choice for day 27. They both have similar settings, but I know the other is a bit more ghosty than this one. This is also a movie that I grew up watching, so any reason to watch it again. House was one of the starter horror movies that I saw pretty young and just loved so much. When I was young I didn’t really pick up on any of the comedy, but now I pick up on all of it.

House was directed by Steve Miner. It was written by Ethan Wiley with story by Fred Dekker. This was a reteaming of Miner and the producer Sean S. Cunningham since they had worked together on both Friday the 13th parts II and III. Ethan Wiley would actually go on to work on the sequel, as both writer and director.

It stars William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll, and Kay Lenz. I knew Richard Moll mostly for his role in Night Court as Bull, so when I saw this and there he was being evil it was quite a shock for little me. George Wendt’s character wasn’t really even that much of a change from Norm, so that wasn’t that much of a shock for me. Especially compared to what happened with Richard Moll. I wasn’t really raised on Greatest American Hero, so this is my main point of reference with William Katt. He acts his heart out with everything that his character is put through in the movie.

House starts with the suicide of an old woman. She leaves her big house to her nephew Roger Cobb. Roger is a horror novelist that is dealing with a severe bout of writer’s block. This has been brought about by the disappearance of his son and the dissolvement of his marriage, which was brought about by the loss of his son. He resolves to stay in the house, that his aunt swore was haunted to work on his new book.

I really want to mention the creature designs and the practical effects in the movie. All of the designs are creepy. How they’re used in the movie really makes them terrifying. The undead Ben is definitely a standout of all of the effects. All of them look amazing, especially in the transfer from Arrow video that I have. Harry Manfredini did the score for the movie, which adds even more connections to the Friday the 13th series. His score is far more varied and he even gets to do some heartwarming pieces.

I love House even now. I’ve only seen the first two of the movies of which there are four. Both of them were added to Shudder recently and if you happen to have never seen them I cannot recommend them enough. I give House 8.5 large stuffed marlins out of 10.

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