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In a sense, "House IV" picks up where "House I" left off, with author Roger
Cobb. He doesn't last long though, since he is killed off in a freak
automobile accident in the first ten minutes of the movie. His wife Kelly
and daughter Laurel (neither of which existed in the original "House I" --
Cobb had an estranged wife Sandy, and a son Jimmy) move into the Cobb's old
family summer home.
This movie isn't a stinker, but at the same time, it doesn't even come close to the level of excellence seen in "House I" and "House II". The characters in this story, from the old Indian to the snoopy housekeeper, aren't nearly as well-developed as the characters from the previous "House" movies, nor are they as interesting. Melissa Clayton does an excellent job as Cobb's 12-yr-old daughter Laurel, though, bringing both presence and humor to the role. There is humor in this movie, although not a whole lot of it, and what little there is happens to be fairly dark humor.
"House" and "House II" were unique in that they were horror for a wide audience range, but "House IV" does not continue the tradition. The excellent shower scene is marred by a nude shot, and this movie contains foul language not seen in the other two films. The violence level is slightly higher, but that accounts for the almost complete lack of supernatural horror that marked the first two. All in all, I'd give it a six out of ten.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
House IV is actually House III but because of The Horror Show being
named House III overseas they had to call this one House IV although
this did cause a bit of confusion. House IV is not really scary but
instead more of a comedy since there's a scene with a singing Pizza
head, William Katt returns to play Roger Cobb but except this is a
different Roger Cobb since he's got a daughter and a different wife
(The Roger Cobb in House had a son and a wife who was an actress.) also
the DVD extra's even say that he's a different Roger Cobb.
House IV sees Roger and his family visiting his old family house where his half brother want's to buy it but Roger won't let him, after a car accident Roger is burnt to a crisp and his daughter is paralysed. Afterwards his wife Kelly and daughter Laurel decide to live in Roger's family house but soon find strange things happening since the place his haunted, Roger's brother still wants to buy the House and demolish it so they can dump Toxic Waste there. He tries to get Kelly to sell it but she won't, she soon learns that Roger's spirit is trapped inside the House and if the House gets destroyed so does Roger.
House IV isn't a bad film, it's got some funny moments and is more of a comedy. If you like haunted house movies or silly comedies then check House IV out.
"House IV" is the worst movie of the series.
Kelly Cobb (Tracy Treas) and her husband Roger (William Katt) are deciding what to do with their old house, and Roger's brother Burke (Scott Burkholder) is trying to buy it out, which he is unsuccessful in doing. Their Native American neighbor Ezra (Ned Romero) has a secret artifact buried in the basement, that Roger's father knew and promised to keep it intact. During a trip, they get into an accident, killing Roger and injuring their daughter Laurel, (Melissa Clayton) reducing her to being in a wheelchair. Going back to the house, Kelly and Laurel decide to adopt it as a home, like Roger wanted. Her father disapproves of the move, but Kelly and Laurel try to make the most of it. Laurel suggests having a Halloween party, as weird things begin happening around the house. The new housekeeper her father ordered, Verna Klump, (Denny Dillion) seems to think Kelly's crazy for living in the house, and after some restless nights, Kelly has still not accepted his death. Burke is trying to get the house away, and is still unsuccessful, forcing her to think about him more and her to consider not to sell. When even more strange things happen around the house, Kelly is forced to believe her worst nightmares have come true and has targeted her and Laurel.
The Good News: The main thing with this movie is that house's design. It's a large, creepy house, with the perfect design for creepy goings-on. It's got the requisite two level design, a basement, large rooms, and an odd looking face when viewed front on. It's not as creepy as the house in Amityville, but it serves the purpose nicely. For this being a haunted house story, there are the usual things that aren't right or shouldn't be doing that. One of the best ones is the recurring gag of the water faucets spewing forth a sludge rather than water. It's a great visual jump the first time around, as it appears out of nowhere, then it happens again and gets us shocked. There were some other good gags in here, like a hand rising out of a pile of fallen ashes, or seeing Roger's face from the toppings on a pizza. Others are a bit more shocking. Easily the best one is the shower switching from water to blood without her knowing, and she becomes covered in blood searching around the room, and finds a threatening message written in the steam on the mirror. Even her few dreams are pretty creepy, and one provides the film's biggest shock.
The Bad News: This is far more of a talker film than most people may be accustomed to. There are no big set pieces until very late in the movie, and even then, they aren't very spectacular. What's even weirder is that most of them aren't in the least bit scary. It just takes way too long to get anything going, and when something does happen, it is usually just a split second image of something freaky, then it all goes back to normal. At times, it can feel like a drama more than a horror film, and that is its main problem. It feels too much like a dramatic-horror film than a straightforward horror film. Way too much time is spent on Kelly trying to mourn Roger's death and the drama of life after the death of a main family member than it does with giving the house a genuine sense of dread. It's not that the house isn't scary, it's just there's no suspense in the buildup. Stuff just happens and then it's like the supernatural aspects of the film go right out the window.
The Final Verdict: It focuses more on drama than horror, and with some scarier haunted house gags, this might be a little bit more remembered. As it stands, this is a film that will appeal more to those that don't like a lot of shocks or suspense in their films. Its heavy-handed drama will put off those that love action-packed films, who will exercise extreme caution here.
Rated R: Language, Violence and Brief Nudity
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i loved house, it's one of my favorite horror-comedies. house II was okay
but very disappointing; haven't seen horror show, and i thought this was a
great follow-up, had everything that made the orginal asa awesome as it
except for the laughs
hurt to see my hero roger get killed off in the beginning, but it helped the story a bit
I really like this series. This House movie contains less action &/or horror than the previous two (whatever happened to House III?), but is still fun. I love the fact that the daughter is paralysed and in a wheelchair -- yet Mom manages to not only get her into the Victorian house (not ground level by any means), but also into her upstairs bedroom without any visible lifts or elevators. Still, this movie does manage to have a good (not great, but good) storyline and fits well into the series. BTW - William Katt's character shouldn't be the same as in the first House. It takes place way too soon for this to be his second wife and second child and the first son to be gone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay. House IV Is Slightly Predictable, But Not Lame. I Thought it Was Great, but Slow. Slow because Really only about 5 or 6 REALLY Scary Scenes Happen.....But all it takes is one of these Classic Scenes to Frighten House Fans for Years To Come.!NEXT SENTENCE IS A POSSIBLE SPOILER! If you Thought Psycho Made you not Want to Take a Shower, Watch This One. People Who have Seen This Film Know What I Mean. Last But Not Least, I Would Say That This the Second Best of The House Series, and Delivers Just What you Would Expect From a House Movie for Viewers of the First III. JUST The House Series. All in All It's a Good Movie that Could have been Rated PG-13 if They Didn't Have Swearing. CHECK IT OUT. Also Recommended: The Amityville Series
The 1990s was a very different time for Horror, not so prolific as it
had been in the 80s. The major franchises seemed to have warn out their
welcomes, but that didn't stop filmmakers from having one final go at
it. New Line Cinema planned to end both the 'Friday the 13th' and 'A
Nightmare on Elm Street' franchises and at the time seemed to do so
effectively. For whatever reason they also took on the 'House' series
and brought us the final installment. Since 'The Horror Show' was only
known as 'House III' overseas this would be the official second sequel
and some may say it came too late. Truth is that it may not be top of
the line, but all things considered it's really not bad at all.
Pros: Excellent performances across the board. Pretty good story. Harry Manfredini composes another solid score for the series. Moves at a good pace. First time director Lewis Abernathy more than holds his own, making one wonder why he never did it again. Has humor like I and II and it often hits the mark. A few decent shocks. Some genuinely touching moments, especially the "home movie" scene.
Cons: Mediocre effects. Some of the humor bombs. Lacking suspense. Not at all scary.
Final thoughts: Much maligned sequel isn't a classic of the genre, but is nowhere near as bad as it's reputation would suggest. It's very much in the spirit of the first film and doesn't fall into many of the same traps as other haunted house films. There's heart in the story and performances and the former is just interesting enough to keep this from being dull.
My rating: 3.5/5
...but it wasn't the worst. It was a pretty okay film, I saw it on MonsterVision, with it edited down a pretty good bit. It was still pretty okay.
In some of the dream and scare sequences, the director of "House IV" shows considerable talent and imagination. But the plot is just a rehash of old cliches, and toward the end it goes all over the map and creates quite a few gaps. Even horror movies have to establish some rules and play by them, this movie goes every which way but loose. Still, it's better than the dreadful "House II". (**)
Let's see..."House 1","House 2","House 4".......what happened to part three???I have never found a part three and I'm not the only one.A good film,though not as good as the first two.Good for a laugh or two.Could make you think twice before ordering a pizza though.......
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