June 2017


House: Two Stories
Arrow Video/MVD
Blu-ray Review By: Jaime Pina

With the combined talents of the producer of The Last House On The Left and Friday the 13th and the director of Friday the 13th Parts 2 & 3, House is a quirky horror/comedy that satisfies on both levels and was quite a fun popcorn flick when first released in 1986. Doing well on cable and video, the film spawned three unrelated sequels and is now available in a two-disc box set along with House 2.

The first film starred William Katt (Carrie, The World’s Greatest Hero) as an author named Roger Cobb who moves into his recently deceased aunt’s house in order to isolate himself so he can write his new book. A horror author, he is now working on a film detailing his experiences in Viet Nam and one particular episode with a soldier called “Big Ben”. The author already had an experience with the supernatural when his young son vanished into thin air, causing the separation of him and his wife. Cobb begins to notice eerie things happening and receives a visit from his deceased aunt warning him that the house has an evil power. As more dangerous apparitions appear he discovers a portal to another dimension and after finding his son must fight his way back, only to have a zombie “Big Ben” to deal with.

With a winning and kooky leading man in Katt and comedy relief from next-door neighbor George Wendt (Cheers), the film finely balances the horror and humor with Richard Moll (Night Court) providing much of the horror as “Big Ben”. The film moves along at a nice pace and is a fun ride. The first disc of this set features the film in a beautiful transfer and a lot of extras including a new documentary featuring many of the principal players from both sides of the screen.

House 2 is the first non-related sequel and centers around a young couple inheriting a house. While searching through the place they find a photo of the man’s great-great-grandfather with a crystal skull. With the prodding of a friend they dig up the body of the relative hoping to find the skull and cash in not knowing that the skull had given the relative extended life and he was still alive. The rest of the story revolves around the zombie grandfather and the skull and the spirits involved. Light on both laughs and horror, there are a few satisfying bits like some stop motion animation and the Gramps zombie hanging out at a costume party but this is no House 1. Instead of George Wendt the comedy relief is left in the hands of another Cheers star John Ratzenberger and a young Bill Maher appears sporting a mullet.

The second disc follows the same pattern as the first with a beautiful feature and loads of extras. Fans of House 1 will love the new release and give House 2 a look for fun. The disc will serve well for a House themed movie party with a full evening of fun and extras from both films.


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