When I was working for the county in downtown Sacramento I met a fellow fan of horror named Daniel. We would talk about various horror movies and such and the one movie he turned me onto was one called House. Now at the time my thoughts were, “Didn’t this movie come out in the 80’s?” so I passed on it. After a few weeks of convincing I decided to give the movie a watch and fell in love with it. However, the only way I could watch it was either on DVD or on a crappy quality copy on the internet. Now the folks over at Arrow video have released a new remaster of the movie on blu-ray. But is this a movie that you should pick up or should you avoid this house and move on down the road?
The movie focuses on a writer named Roger Cobb who has a troubled past. He was once married to a gorgeous lady and had a son named Jimmy. However, one day his son went missing and this created a rift between husband and wife and they eventually separated. A writer by trade, he had spent a good part of his life crafting horror stories for his well established audience. For the book he is currently working on he decides to focus on the real life horrors that were experienced when he served in Vietnam. While he is working on his book he finds out that his aunt was found in the house hanged to death. Instead of working on trying to sell it he decides that he is going to live in this house and what starts is a movie filled with twists and turns. I don’t want to give away the ending but all I will say is that this movie has some great moments that will have you laughing one moment and screaming in terror the next.
House has been brought from the 80’s into the 21st century with a digital 2k remaster as well as three different sound setups (mono, stereo and DTS-MA 5.1 sound options). And let me tell you this restoration makes the movie look better than the crappy VHS transfers that I can recall from my childhood. The picture is crisp and clean and it feels as if I am watching this in a movie theater. There is also english subtitles for the hearing impaired as well as an audio commentary soundtrack. This track features the actor William Katt (who some recognize from the TV show The Greatest American Hero), screenwriter Ethan Wiley, director Steven Miner and producer Sean S Cunningham (who has worked on a few films including the Friday the 13th series!) Also, included are the original trailers from the 1980’s, a first draft of the script (including the original draft that Wiley was going to submit to Twilight Zone).
There are of course stills and an original making of the movie but there’s one more shiny bit that true fans will love. Ding Dong, You’re Dead! This is a new documentary on the making of House that has almost the entire cast and crew from the movie! From the esteemed producer and director to some of the actors to even the composer, special effects crew and even the fight coordinator (who happens to be Kane Hodder the person that played Jason!) What I also love about this release is the new art that was made for it. Done by the incredibly talented Justin Osbourn this reversible sleeve has great art no matter which way you display it! The art also reminds me of the VHS cases of yesteryear when the only thing you had to go on was the art on the sleeve.
If you are a fan of the original House and are looking for a great version to watch at home or have never experienced the movie and love horror this is the film to pick up. It has everything that a horror fan could ever want in a movie so you need to experience it for yourself. For more information on this and other releases head over to http://www.arrowvideo.com and get ready to enter… the House!