House of Fears (2007)
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Executive produced & directed by Ryan Little this fairly tame teen slasher has a decent enough idea behind it & has pretty good production values but ultimately it never delivers on it's promise & it just ends up being another faceless low budget horror film the likes of which clutter video shop shelves & fill bargain bins right across the world. The usual problems plague House of Fears, a shallow script that has an OK concept but never builds on it as dumb teen character's wander around a lot, stop to talk about how they shouldn't stop (I'm not joking) & eventually split up so they can get killed off. All of them are walking clichés, there's the token black guy, the prankster, the slut, the 'good' girl & a bratty spoilt one along with a all American white teen hero. Then there's that concept about this demon god thing turning peoples fears into reality to kill them, there could have been some great sequences built around this with all sorts of possibilities as & there could have been some psychological depth here to as character's have to face up to their greatest fear & overcome it but instead we just get a killer scarecrow & an undertaker who just turn out to be the Freddy or Jason murderer character, there's very little imagination here & it's predictable too. The first half of the film has these six teens looking around this House of Fears after hours & this is probably the films highlight as several cheap but reasonable jump moments are shown & the locations & sets are surprisingly good but once the killing starts it's strictly teen slasher territory & not particularly good teen slasher territory either. This could have been pretty good but as it is it isn't.
The production values are surprisingly good with nice sets but the shot on video look cheapens it, I so wish filmmakers still used proper grainy film like they used to. House of Fears is very tame indeed, there's no real gore or violence in it, there are a few dead bodies seen with a bit of blood dribbling out of one's mouth, someone is electrocuted & that's about it. Although the film is supposed to be about peoples fears it's not scary in itself, simply not enough happens but there are one or two cheap horror film moments that do work to an extent but nothing groundbreaking or sustained. Although made in 2007 House of Fears was only released on DVD in the states at the end of 2009 & you can see why.
This looks alright to be fair to it but that's not really enough reason to see it. The acting isn't that good from anyone involved who were obviously cast for their looks rather than their thespian ability.
House of Fears is another low budget horror slasher that doesn't really distinguish itself from the crowd except that it's even tamer than most modern low budget horror & it had potential that it didn't live up to. There are better ways to spend both your time & money.
The things they're afraid of are not very focused, in that they don't just attack or kill the person who has the fear, but go after everybody. Some people get injured or killed by things that as far as we know, nobody was afraid of. It's a little weird that way. In the advertising for the film I'd read, there was mention of "sinister clowns, killer scarecrows." There's really only one of each and the clown barely gets any screen time at all.
The characters aren't particularly interesting. The women are pretty, while the guys are somewhat goofy-looking. Corri English's Samantha is a little more developed by virtue of some backstory accompanied by flashbacks which are fairly well-done.
Cydney Neil, former owner and operator of the Rocky Point Haunted House in Salt Lake City briefly appears as herself. A shame more use wasn't made of her.
The director is listed as the producer for an upcoming film titled Hell House, which oddly appears to have the same plot.
What is it with those demons and monsters lately? What's with their recent obsession with killing teens? Why aren't we 30somethings worth slaughtering anymore? The set-up for this trite horror flick is about as unique as it gets: six teenagers enter a building (not a house) and get wiped off one by one. Nothing wrong with that... But if you're going to stretch this non-plot into 80 minutes, then you've got to provide us with more teenagers. Only four get killed, plus the guard, and that makes five. 80 minutes divided by 5 corpses = 16 minutes.
That's only one killing per every 16 minutes! Far too little. What happens in those average 16 minutes, between killings? Nothing.
Take "The Shining" (Kubrick's excellent version, of course, not Stephen King's recent abomination). That movie lasts 135 minutes and has only two deaths (one of them being in the very last scene). When you have a good story, a stellar cast, and a master-director, you can get away with a murder per 67.5 minutes, easily. In HOF you've got none of those necessary requirements.
Hence: the number of deaths in a horror movie - necessary to keep the viewer interested - is inversely proportional to the quality of the director and the material. From this we draw the obvious conclusion that because HOF's director and his material are crap, we need far more dead teens. 50, perhaps...? 100?... Let's settle with 239, it's a nice round number. 239 teens enter the house and get slaughtered one by one. 239 divided by 80 = 2.98. Nearly THREE dead teens per minute! Now, that would make HOF far more watchable.
This impressive, hypothetical death-rate wouldn't turn HOF into a classic, but it would make it so much more watchable. Plus, it would make us respect those rather incompetent HOF monsters a lot more: all they managed to achieve, the lazy slobs, was to kill 5 out of the 7 teens. Two GIRLS managed to run away from them. One of them never even held a weapon in her hand, and yet she managed to fight off a demon repeatedly.
And then they want a sequel? Those monsters need to get in shape before they even begin to deserve another movie. I suggest a fitness program to improve their running and coordination, and heavier drugs to stimulate more aggression. Lumbering fools...
Speaking of which... Do NOT miss the AMAZING extra-scene epilogue after the end-credits! It will scare you like a... like a... a pair of soft pink slippers.
And of course the mobile phones don't work...
"Hello, 911! We're trapped in a house of fears and already 3 people have died!" Well, 4 actually, Samantha.
Filmed In Utah. I think they ought to stick to salty lakes, basketball, and silly religions...
It's just another simple teen slasher movie that we've seen a million times before. A bunch of good looking dumb cliché teens break into a house only to get killed.....very original. Especially funny is how the makers put in some silly background story about some African statue.Very silly and completely obvious that is was put in just for the sake of having a "story".
Skip this folks, it adds nothing to the already dying horror genre. For a good and original horror movie look elsewhere.
I never heard of this movie before seeing it last night on netflicks. Now sometimes, some movies skip over the theater release due to grapic scenes directors are unwilling to cut. And some skip the theater release due to being completely a waste of time. This movie was the later.
From the very beginning you know exactly what's going to happen. As soon as they enter the haunted house you know Zane will be the first to die. Side note: a movie involving a evil spirited African statue? From watching far to much scooby-doo the first thing i'd do is break that thing. problem solved. no death.
This movie is the exact same as all the rest. A group of teenaged, sex driven individuals, who think it would be a good idea to go to an unopened haunted house, with a security guard MIA, seeing creepy things.
the ending? really? the only two that survive are the step sister who hate each other? yawn.
The movie gave it's own best comment: "This is a house of lame". You can use this.. um... "film"? as a horror movie cliché check list.
This thing was like a made for TV movie commissioned and then rejected by the CW network. It seems to me they over spent on this thing. I've seen films with a lower budget that where ten times better because of the story and plot. The general idea (freaky statue that actually makes your fears come to life and kill you) was good but could have been done way better. The film sets itself up for potential awesome (band name) but falls short on delivering.
The only good I can see come from this film is if someone from Thatguywiththeglasses covers it.
If Riftrax does this I would definitely be willing to sit through it again. Honestly I hope the makers of House of Fears either learn from the mistakes made here and go on to make much better films, or find a new line of work.
I will give the film one good point: Towards the beginning one of the guys dresses up as a killer and jumps out at the others. One of the other guys punches him. That has to be in more horror films.
In the end it's NOT a horror film and not even a suspense film. It should have been titled "Wasted Potential" that would have been more accurate.
This is probably the only "horror" film more boring than The Blair Witch Project
The relic, as it is explained, will tap inside the minds of its victims and prey upon their deepest nightmares. So when a group of six friends sneak into the haunted house exhibit a night before the official launch, well, to quote Drowning Pool – "Let the bodies hit the floor!" In perfect horror symmetry, the group of friends consist of three boys and three girls. Two of the girls are half sisters (Corri English and Sandra McCoy) who don't exactly get along. Their relationship is further strained by a male interest (Corey Sevier) who is quasi-seeing one sister, but is willing to give the other one a go. All of this is intended to develop a back story to assist with our attachment to the characters, but in truth, it's just padding to help get the running time up to an 86-minute feature.
After the introduction of the fated six (Alice Greczyn, Eliot Benjamin and Michael J. Pagan round out the cast) we watch as each of them reveal their innermost fear and further observe as their nightmares come to life in the forms of killer clowns (not from outer space, unfortunately), a scarecrow and fears of suffocating and claustrophobia. All their fears are realized inside the already spooky haunted/funhouse which adds quite a bit to the atmosphere of the film.
The script, penned by Stephen A. Lee and John Lyde, is a good idea which falls prey to tired technique. Thoughts of Wishmaster and Waxwork ran through our head in some of the film's better scenes. The Scarecrow and the tall, bald demon character were particularly unnerving and used very effectively in promoting an aura of fear.
But the actions of the characters were just too dumb to keep the momentum built up in any of the action sequences. The six make the usual dumb horror film moves such as splitting up, fighting amongst themselves, shaking when trying to load a gun at an opportune moment and talking about not being able to leave a dead friend behind before trying to save their own skin. Yawn.
We couldn't help but think that just a little help from smarter written characters would have propelled House of Fears into the horror geekdom mainstream. After all, we did jump. We did think the nightmare in the form of the demon, the clown and the scarecrow were scary. And we did think the idea of a funhouse being the setting was a device not used often enough in horror.
But instead of making House of Fears a must-see, it falls into the 'meh – it's alright' category. Which is a shame really.
This time I came across House Of Fears starring Corey Sevier and found myself interested in this mid budget horror title which has overwhelming similarities to Dark House (2009).
I ended up falling asleep and chose to pick it up the next day only to realise upon going on IMDb that I'd already seen it.
This is the first time this has ever happened, though a couple of scenes seemed familiar (Especially the sand pit part) I thought it was just because I watch so many films.
What does this tell you about House Of Fears? That though it isn't a bad film, it's instantly forgettable!
Perfectly watchable effort
Generic Things I Learnt From This Movie:
I am capable of forgetting a watched a film altogether even when watched again!
People in a haunted house doubling as a fake haunted house get terrorized by various apparitions, pretty similar to the Fangoria horror festival's "Dark House" but without the cheese.
The problem? When a horror movie isn't scary, I'd prefer watching a cheesy film over one that leaves me thinking, "okay, that guy died, meaning after this character, this one, and this one die it'll be time for protagonists to defeat (insert villain here)".
Dark House was very fun; House of Fears was memorable despite not being good, but I must admit because I've recently seen Dark House, this movie seemed less entertaining than before, and it wasn't all that entertaining to begin with.
Maybe worth a rental, otherwise, watch some other film.
First, are there really that many original stories left for horror movie setups? No, so what you do is take a known plot line and try to throw some originality in how you present it. You've got a basic haunted house story here, but they mix things up with the characters - two step-sisters who hate each other but who enter the haunted house together when one begs the other not to ruin the night for her. Will they bond together to survive, or will their hatred lead one to abandon the other? Also, instead of a maniac doing all the killing, it's an ancient artifact that is causing things to come to life. It finds out your worst fear and then kills you with it. (Or tries to.) Again, not original but when you put the two things together it works out nicely.
The comment about the lack of gore was also an absurd one. This movie does not bill itself as a slasher flick. I really enjoyed the fact that there is suspense and setup before each killing. And really - you'd have to have 40 teenagers sneaking into the haunted house to satisfy the blood lust of some of these so-called horror fans! Talk about an unrealistic setup! I've seen a lot of low to mid-budget films that were flat-out unwatchable. You turn them off after 15 minutes and berate yourself for wasting the money and the 15 minutes. Not only is House of Fears watchable, it's a darn good movie! And the lesser-known talent in this movie is now becoming much more recognizable. They've gone on to supporting roles in other films and TV. You'll enjoy watching House of Fears and remembering years later that some of tomorrow's well-known actors were in it.
But still there is something of Room 101 to this story . A bunch of teens break in to a haunted house attraction and then strange things start happening like being killed by the horror attractions . It's at this point you'll start believing the attractions such as mummy's and scarecrows are in fact the work of a maniac dressed up as a mummy etc , but no the creatures are in fact real creatures brought to life by a spirit from Africa
It's a crazy notion and one that you find yourself rubbing your chin about . It's incredibly fascinating but one that is laughably daft at the same time and the more you think about the less fascinating it becomes and instead becomes more and more daft . There are a few atmospheric moments but hardcore horror fans will disappointed by the lack of gore
Corri English (playing Samantha) may now be known to horror fans who watch "Holliston" (if you do not watch it, you should), but she was largely unknown when appearing here in a starring role. On the flip side, Jared Padalecki (as "JP") was probably well-known at this point and appears anonymously (uncredited). How they got Padalecki is unclear.
The film has an interesting style and coloration (sort of a purposely blurry, washed-out look). And a haunted houses where the fears come to life is always a steady source of horror goodness. But I just did not see much to make this one stand out, and it has been understandably forgotten.
There's no gore and the acting was sometimes laughable. The things walking around may be frightening for teenagers but again, nothing special and the CGI for the dog's eyes didn't work neither.
In fact, eleven or younger will be scared in places but for me, just a boring flick. And to say if it would contain the red stuff that it could have been a mediocre horror.
Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 0/5 Story 1/5 Comedy 0/5