Being as its the month of October, and everyone here at the Gamervision HQ is in full Halloween mode, I figure that it is time for me to set aside my burning hatred for fall and embrace the spirit of the season. What else is better than putting on a hoodie and watching a scary movie on a Friday night with your best girl? And by your best girl, I mean I will be taking her out. I'll tell you what's better…putting on a hoodie on a Friday night watching a scary movie by yourself! However you and I spend our lonely existence, Halloween has taken over, whether we like it or not. So in the spirit of the season, I figured I'd go back and watch one of my favorite scary movies. That movie being House.
Now you might be thinking, "Hey Josh, isn't House a TV show?". Yes, yes it is…but this is the 1986 blockbuster horror smash hit House. House used to freak me out when I was a kid so I decided to check it out again to see if it still held up to what I remember: a very creepy and weird movie from my childhood. It turns out this movie is hilarious. It had been several years since I last had seen this brilliant piece of work, and let me tell you, it is comic genius. Here are some of my favorite aspects of the movie, not in any particular order (they're in a particular order).
Remember that movie Poltergeist? You know, that movie that was cursed and that little girl died from ghost poisoning? Well that creepy-ass medium lady is in House too as one of the many crazy and wacky monster apparitions. Seriously, check it out. As a kid this monster (lady) used to terrify me. She looks like if an old lady had sex with that guy from Robocop who falls into the acid and had a kid…out of wedlock. This monster is also the inspiration for the poster for House. At one point William Katt (House) kills said monster with a bunch of haunted garden tools which he cleverly remembers trapping in a closet after they try to murder him (clutch). But wait…don't worry, the monster isn't dead. Soon the only way House can kill the monster is by cutting up into pieces…which is the only real way to get rid of your problems.
Other Characters…or Whatever
So he gets his aunt's house AND her sweaters
This movie has a lot going on and follows the old and very true formula that says if your movie has a lot of characters, it is better. William "Curls for Days" Katt is a famous horror novelist named Roger Cobb who at one time was married to a very famous actress (Vanna White), but has since divorced her because their only son had disappeared (which means you can no longer love your spouse). To complicate matters, they both live in William Katt's aunt's house, which is super haunted and is responsible for kidnapping their son. The Aunt is also crazy, makes paintings that look like homages to Salvador Dali, and hangs herself within the first 5 minutes of the movie (LOL). Also, Cobb is a Vietnam vet who watched his best friend, Bull from Night Court (Richard Moll), die in Vietnam. This guy has ALL the guilt and PTSD. Bull from Night Court is also as crazy as Willem Defoe was in that other war movie, McHale's Navy Platoon. At the end, he turns into a haunted skeleton and tries to re-kidnap Cobb's son…again. He also looks like Rita Repulsa's brother, Rito Repulso, from Power Rangers. Adding to the confusing cavalcade of unnecessary secondary characters plucked from forgotten 80s sitcoms, George Wendt makes an appearance as Sam Malone's Roger Cobb's neighbor. NOOOOOOOORRRRRRRM!
Speaking of George Wendt, George Wendt is hilarious. This movie, as it turns out, is the funniest thing to come out of the Reagan years (AIDS). Wendt's wacky portrayal of the goofy neighbor is classic straight-man comedic genius. He comes over to the Cobb residence to chill in the middle of the night and brings beer for his new famous author BFF, but soon begins to think that Cobb is losing his mind, like all Vietnam vets did. But it's okay…turns out teh house is very haunted…DOUBLE haunted. Watching Wendt try to get out of this situation after being so excited about hanging out with a celebrity is brilliant. There are a plethora of moments in this film that are so unintentionally intentionally funny. At one point the police come to investigate what is happening at teh house. When the cops show up one can clearly see that their badges say "Policeman Police"….classic. Win one for Halloween Outlets everywhere.
If there's one thing I love in a film, it's symbolism. This movie has ALL of the symbolism, mostly because it has 615 characters. Cobb divorcing his wife is indicative of what commonly happens after a spouse returns from war, because nobody wants to be married to a crazy person. The fact that she's '80s hot is symbolic of her being hot. He also literally loses his family when teh house twice kidnaps the shit out of his son. Cobb also feels isolated and alone in a house that symbolizes his own mind. He goes to the house to deal with his "Demons" (har har har), both those he accumulated during WWI Vietnam, and those he faces as a hugely successful writer. I like this aspect because I can totally relate…not only that but he returns home to a house he grew up in only to find that nothing is the same…and it is trying to kill him. This is some serious Golden Globe type shit bitches.
I would have to say that my favorite characters in this movie is the house itself. This place is CRAZY. It makes dead wall-mounted marlins turn into alive-dead wall-mounted marlins, makes people shoot their wives (she had it coming), and torments children so that they will be forever scared of any house. I have a very distinct memory of when I was a child being very fascinated by my own house. I used to follow the pipes around in the basement with my eyes for hours. Years later I would learn that this is called "Asperger's syndrome". So when I saw this movie as a child, it fascinated and terrified me. I had favorite parts like when the dismembered hand of Poltergeist Lady hitches a ride on a little kid's back. I guess when it comes down to it, even Cobb himself feels like a little kid in his own house, making some moments in House seem like a more haunted version of Home Alone. It somehow manages to create that chill you feel up your spine when you hear a noise that you don't recognize…and then the other chill you feel when your wife turns into a haunted bloated fat demon (symbolism).
I recommend spending this weekend hunting down this movie and watching it. It is available on Netflix, but not for instant view. You could also build a time machine go back to the late '80s and wait for it to randomly be shown on your local sub-par station, you know, the one that usually shows reruns of Living Single. This movie is an overall win. I would also recommend checking out House 2: Jumping the Shark.
Final Synopsis : 9 hanged aunts out of 10
Josh Henderson is an actor/writer who should always be taken seriously, especially on the internet…count the grammar mistakes.