#416 The Horror Show (1989)

Marketed outside USA as the third sequel to the House series, The Horror Show has actually nothing to do with the previous two movies so I will leave out the comparisons.

Although, one comparison has to be made. If House and House II didn’t go all in with their concept, The Horror Show really goes overboard in every possible way and keeps the pedal to the medal until the end mixing elements from various movies into one absurd hodgepodge.

This is one of those so bad it’s good movies. From the hilariously bad script that doesn’t even start to make any sense, to the dream sections with Jenke’s constant nasal laughter and from cut off exploding heads to the protagonist actually beating up a heater in the basement being possessed by the baddie, The Horror Show is a turkey caught in a train wreck that just goes on for an hour and a half. But, it’s an entertaining kind of train wreck.

Just be sure to leave your brain at the door.

#415 House II The Second Story (1987)

After the satisfactory box office success of the original, a sequel was released the following year. Unlike many other sequels, The Second Story doesn’t feature any of the original actors, nor is there any continuum from the first installation or the original setting.

In this sense House II could’ve very well been an independent film to avoid then often harsh comparisons to the original.
While House II is often dubbed as an unworthy sequel, there’s a lot to like here as well. The characters for example are well crafted and interesting characters that add a lot to the humour. The drunk ex-girlfriend who pops up in the most unfortunate times and the visit from Bill Towner, the electrician / adventurer are hilarious moments when the sequel surpasses the original by a long shot.

Although I’m much more a good adventure fan rather than horror film freak, House is a concept where the wacky scares would seem a must, so it’s a letdown to see the horror missing this time around.

Ultimately House II’s biggest flaw lies in its mayan saga, wild west plot and the sections in the prehistoric jungle that feel – as imaginative as they might’ve felt like when writing the script – unimaginative, out of place and distractive. House II could’ve easily built its whole plot simply on the haunted house without all the sidetracking.

House II does many things in overall wackyness and in the humor sections better than the original, but the mayan, wild west and jungle side plots feel very obtrusive and glued on.

#414 House (1986)

To finally watch the House movie from 1986 was a special treat for me; I’d always admired the mysterious poster from the first time I saw it and remember the VHS box in the rentals as something that always caught my eye. But it was always the PG rating that kept me from renting it.

So, after always admiring it from afar, I finally got to see the movie – accidentally just a few weeks after its 30th anniversary.

So, how does it measure up to the little kid’s hype? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The concept is pretty much as one would except, but the biggest flaw here is that House always feels like its holding back a little and constantly missing its opportunity to really go along with its wacky concept. What little we see here is well done and executed, I just wish there was lots of more of it.

Instead, House tries to tap into some Vietnam war flashbacks that always seem out of place. More screen time could’ve also been dedicated to George Wendt as the nosy but polite neighbour trying to get to know his new mysterious neighbour.

All in all, House is a solid horror comedy that really could’ve been a riot had they dived much move bravely deep into the established concept.