House (1986)

House (1986)


Roger Cobb (William Katt, Carrie) is a best-selling novelist trying to get over the end of his marriage and the mysterious disappearance of his son. When Cobb’s aunt (Susan French, Jaws 2) commits suicide, the author moves into her home. Initially, he enjoys the solitude the house offers him — it does seem like the perfect environment for a writer. Cobb, however, begins to realize that the house is haunted.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Back in 1987, when I was a senior in High School, I sat and watched House, written by Ethan Wiley, directed by Steve Miner. Frankly, I thought at the time that it was a perfect blend of horror and comedy. The film scared me and it made me laugh — two emotions that usually don’t go well together. I was a bit disappointed with this latest re-watch. It seems that I have outgrown the film. I’m afraid — no pun intended — the film is no longer scary. It’s still, however, fairly amusing.

Although made by the same people who gave us Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) — producer Sean S. Cunningham, director Miner, composer Harry Manfredini — the gore is almost non-existent. As I suggested before, some elements are still fun, though. The business with the little boy is hilarious. There is also a great scene between our protagonist and one hideous ghoul.

The puppetry and make-up effects are pleasant old-school moviemaking. I definitely enjoyed the strange parade of silly/ugly monsters.

Katt is very likable in the lead. It’s mostly a one man’s show and Katt relishes a rare opportunity to shine. The supporting cast is good too. George Wendt (Normie, TV’s Cheers) is funny as Katt’s nosy next door neighbor. Sexy Kay Lenz (White Line Fever) plays Katt’s ex-wife.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

It pains me to say this but House has not aged well so I can’t give it an enthusiastic recommendation. However, it is an entertaining piece of 1980s nostalgia. Color, 93 minutes, Rated R.

Followed by House II: The Second Story (1987)


4 responses to “House (1986)

  1. I find Horror comedies to be an uphill battle for me, but House had some moments that i quite liked.

    i can say for certain it was better than “house 2″…


    • I sort of feel the same way about horror-comedies. For example, I didn’t care for “Cabin in the Woods” or “Shaun of the Dead”. However, I love “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”, “The Fearless Vampire Killers” and “American Werewolf in London”.


      • you know the funny thing is i quite like cabin in the woods and shaun of the dead.

        what i don’t like would have to be horror comedy flourishes in something like Drag Me to Hell.


        • Humor is so subjective! I found both “Cabin” and “Shaun” silly rather than funny (perhaps because the characters in both films are so obnoxious), yet I loved “Drag”! Well … we agree on “House 2” – terrible movie!


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