|Index||7 reviews in total|
Alright, well sure, this is was a TV movie, but still... I mean,
couldn't they have had done is somewhat better than this? It was like
watching a scary TV show for teenagers.
The story is about some girls pledging to become sorority sisters and having to endure the typical pledge Hell night. But the house in which the sorority resides bears a sinister and dark secret, and the lady of the house plans to keep it that way.
Indeed, well for a horror movie, be prepared to look long and far for anything even remotely scary in this movie - unless you are a very young viewer and is scared of your own shadow. There is simply nothing scary to be found here, and the story itself, well it was just so-so.
As for the cast, well people were doing good enough jobs with their given roles, even Morgan Fairchild who, and no offense intended here, isn't really cut out for horror movies. But she did put on a convincing enough act here that managed to pull the attention and thoughts of daytime soap opera away from mind.
The ghosts in the movie were nowhere even close to having anything ghostly or supernatural about them. They were merely regular people that popped up and disappeared again from time to time, oh, and with a bit of smudge on their faces. Yeah, if you are making a ghost movie, at least have the courtesy to actually have something that just resembles ghosts or haunts in the actual movie.
If you are planning for an evening worth of entertainment with some good old scares and spooks, then you had better look elsewhere, because you will not find it in this teenage pseudo-horror movie. The movie is long and tedious to get through, and it is an uphill battle to make it to the end.
I can't really recommend anything in particular about this movie which were to make anyone want to sit down and actually watch it. I watched it solely because it was available and it was within hands reach. My mistake, trust me...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you want a decent haunted house movie, got to the horror aisle of your local movie rental place; if you want a really bad haunted house movie lacking in logic and common sense, go to SyFy Channel. Once again, Hollywood pees in the face of the paranormal, swishes the water around and blames it on the dog. Again, what starts out as an interesting and promising premise very quickly goes down the toilet before the movie even starts. Not sure why the movie borrows its name from "An American Horror Story" on FX; the movie has nothing to do with the series. Set near the fictional East Coast college of La Roux University but filmed in Louisiana, it stars the vivaciously talented Alessandra Torresani of "Arrested Development" and "Grounded For Life" fame as an attractive busty college student whose sorority burns down, (Remember that, it's important later.) and her sorority has to move into a large familial manor house several blocks from the college owned by the virtually timeless Morgan Fairchild, who I seriously suspect has a portrait in her attic getting older for her as she stays young. Morgan plays the very mysterious and very stern landlord and housemother. However, hidden in the history of the house are some needlessly violent deaths and disappearances very conveniently lacking in human remains. The sorority is also hiding some very illegal hazing rituals that never get exposed orchestrated by the typical bitchy blonde stereotype. The scary clown hologram improbable as it is has practically stolen from the more superior movie "Hell Night," and like that movie, the body count is adequately and passably tied into the haunted house story. Torresani treats the material very seriously, and Fairchild relishes her character, virtually chewing up her scenes. The ghosts include a creepy girl with a nursery rhyme, an animated mascot costume and some characters in period costume, but they're soon joined by the murder victims at which point the movies turns into a farce of itself. The ghosts act more human than spiritual, pounding on doors and racing through the house like, well, college kids drunk on beer. Problem is, while the movie is suspenseful, it's not scary, and the script could have used a very badly needed re-write to make the overall film more believable. It's lacking in atmosphere and very little character development. In fact, the whole movie is riddled with plot holes big enough to drive a train through Sideways! The biggest plot hole is the fact that there should be umpteen bodies getting stacked up somewhere on the property, but the writers decided to get lazy and ignore resolving that problem. Truthfully, there is not much haunted house or ghostly about this movie; it's basically slasher and gore done paranormal style, and the climax ends very unsatisfactorily with a shock ending that is more of a whimper rather than a finale. Bottom line, SyFy needs to stop turning out these lousy movies and go back to airing the classic horror movies of yesterday.
SyFy takes the more serious route by taking on the sub-genre of
paranormal activity, offering "American Horror House" - A movie that
had an interesting idea going for it, but fell flat with literally all
the needed elements to lead itself to success, disappointing on
The story of this film was off-beat. It felt as if it was mixed up, going in many, many directions all over the place, making it difficult to follow at points, and becoming slightly confusing with the films decisions regarding its plot story. For what we got, however; a bunch of college kids are getting ready for a huge party, the sorority sisters, of which are preparing for this party, doing so, they uncover more, and more sinister secrets on this house, and it's past. One minute we get a bunch of dead ghosts pretending to be live with one character, the next we have these girls terrifying another group of girls in order to fulfill tasks. Once again, it's hard to follow as the film poorly carries they're plot out. The acting in this movie, also tended to get annoying as the characters these actors were given were stuck-up jerks that never exactly knew when to shut up - leading to the disliking of these characters; we as the audience honestly could ever care less about these recycled characters, the movie gave absolutely no story to literally any of them, it literally threw a bunch of these characters on a screen, and expected the audience to enjoy it. No. In fact, half the time, us audience will get annoyed by these character, boosting our wantings on them just dying already so we'd finally get them to shut up. The characters, on top of that were literally just your typical, throw- away clichéd characters of which we've seen billions of times before. Not even the ghost / paranormal enemy characters could hold their grip on anything unique, offering clichéd dialog, overall character execution, etc. There is ONE good factor to this film, however. The plot story wasn't bad. The idea of a ghost taking upon the weak, and trapping them seemed like a good, solid, fresh-like idea; but sadly. Con's defeated the pro's in this battle.
To wrap things up, this is a typical SyFy throw-away. There were loads of elements that could've easily been avoided, but instead, were faced head on in this flick. You have loads of clichés, from characters, to execution, to many, to all ideas. The film has a neat little idea, but as said before is completely evaded due to it's many mistakes. The pacing was slow, and boring. The story execution was terrible, and even confusing as it throws everything at the audiences' face. I'd recommend this if your looking for something to watch, and your utterly bored. If not, watch something else, and skip this.
Not entirely avoidable by all means. There is some decent gore both in quality and amount, meaning that there is a fair bit of it and it doesn't look cheap. Some of the death scenes(though maybe there were too many because the horror elements outside of them suffered) are inventive and have an appropriate stomach-churning effect, the one with the saw stood out, while the other standout scene was when the sisters dressed as Sweet Alice Sweet. Morgan Fairchild- still looking amazing, she actually looks younger than she really is- is chilling and seems to be having a great time, by far the best performance of the movie. That is saying a fair bit actually because the acting generally ranged from overwrought to bland, in short while to be expected it was not particularly great. You don't get to know the characters either, in some instances they get under your skin(the two bitching sisters) or are not on screen long enough to make an impression. The dialogue doesn't flow very well, makes little effort to develop or explain things, so a lot of American Horror House felt very undercooked from a writing standpoint, and the bitching was so overdone that you wanted the characters doing the bitching to shut up fast. Story-wise, there is no better news, some of it drags but other parts felt improvised and erratic. There are an almost complete lack of horror and mystery elements, which hurt the movie significantly. The horror was predictable and atmosphere-less(sure the death scenes were gruesome but those aside there's not much to the horror). And it would have helped if the ghosts were more believable, you don't even believe that they are ghosts but instead it's oddly reminiscent of the Chamber of Horrors section in Madame Tussaud's but much less scary. American Horror House doesn't do well as a mystery either, more suspense, atmosphere and less predictability will have helped it and also that it wasn't so obvious to us too early who the person behind the killings was. There are cheaper movies out there than American Horror House, but the choppy editing, too bright lighting(one external review likened it to Hallmark/Lifetime quality and that is apt here, often it doesn't feel like it's a movie about horror houses and ghosts), and old-school effects that sometimes were okay but looked at other times comparatively dated to the rest of the movie's look cannot be ignored here. All in all, you can do with worse but American Horror House is one of those once-seen, quickly disposable movies(personal opinion of course). 3/10 Bethany Cox
American Horror House (2012)
** (out of 4)
Daria (Alessandra Torresani) is trying to get into a frat house but she soon realizes that the house's owner (Morgan Fairchild) is hiding some dark secrets. Not only are there ghosts haunting the house but there's also a psycho going around killing teens. American HORROR HOUSE might be the first ghost-slasher and for the most part it's mildly entertaining as long as you don't come in expecting some sort of greatness like THE SHINING. I thought the special effects are what really stood out and it's pretty funny to see how much gore and violence can get onto TV these days. It's just funny thinking that the SyFy channel is started to show gorier movies on prime time television than what fans were getting in theaters back in the 80s (when they were also being cut down by the MPAA). There are quite a few memorable death scenes here ranging from one poor slob who gets his tongue ripped out to the highlight scene involving a saw. I'm not going to spoil how the saw effect works but it was quite clever and funny. The performances are about what you'd expect from a movie like this but Torresani was nice in the lead and it was certainly funny seeing Fairchild appear in a film like this. Storywise this thing really isn't too hard to figure out but the material is good enough for a TV movie.
Well well well, I really think it's unfair that some reviews are so
harsh on this one. It actually managed to impress me just a tad bit,
sure, no originality here, a huge load of the usual horror scares, but
still, they tried, they showed some good stuff, only if the ending
would have been better. Just a little better!
What I really don't get, is why oh why did they decide to show some scary parts during the day? I mean really, do they know the effect of daylight over a spooky scene? Kinda makes it dull, unnatural, childish! After that, the movie continues much better, we get to learn a little about the characters, which in my opinion, acted as they supposed to, some dumb, some cocky and others bossy, afterwards some half gore, half scares, dunno, I say overall, a 5 is a good grade for American Horror House.
Yes! It could have been quite good, even with a much used plot, still, had potential, yes, it achieved some of it and yes, it ended as bad as it could have. But still, I've seen a lot more worse than this one right here, therefore, it's worth a look. No more than one tho, one, for the sake of curiosity. Yeah, that one, that killed the cat!
Attempting to pledge a new sorority during a Halloween party, the new
pledges find the event used as a recruiting session by the ghostly
house-mother suffering under a malicious curse to possess the house and
must find a way to stop it from going through.
This one here was actually quite an entertaining and exceptionally fun entry. The main element of the many pluses that comes up here is the fact that this one uses a near-continuous amount of ghost action which keeps this one moving along at such a brisk pace and never really lets it up. The early ghost shots of the girl haunting the cellist in the practice room and appearing to the rejected pledge are pretty chilling scenes and definitely set up some creepy atmosphere when mixed with the actions of the cop investigating the disappearances inside the sorority to the girls going through the initiation ceremonies at the same time. These manifestations of the ghosts are more than enough to provide a dark atmosphere here that's based off the haunting encounters being quite fun while also giving this one some solid supernatural basis. This makes the shots of the ghosts possessing the different artifacts and chasing them for great moments here featuring the attack on the group in the attic where the bear costume continues the attack, the final ghost ambush on the detective and the different visions of the past tragedies from the child's murders to the original deaths of the different figures in the house's history really gather up into formidable and enjoyable scenes. Finally, the main segments where they go around and invade the party, whether through ghostly temptation or simply appearing solely to those aware of their presence but remaining to the other party guests, is incredibly fun and definitely lives up to it's spectacle showpiece by setting the turning and corrupting in motion as well as providing this with the thrilling and action of the chases along the house where it finally gives them the key to overcome them. When mixed together with the rather gory deaths that are thankfully not CGI but actual prosthetics, there's a lot to like here. These here are enough to hold off the few small problems with this, starting with the lame point here involving the cursed-to-remain storyline which certainly doesn't need to be there and is introduced so late as to be an afterthought. There's the usual bad CGI, but overall this one wasn't nearly atrocious and remained quite enjoyable.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Language, Brief Nudity and drug use.
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