This House Possessed (TV Movie 1981) Poster

(1981 TV Movie)

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6/10
Somewhat good haunted house movie, but it lacks a real explanation.
Aaron137517 January 2004
This is a movie that has this very bad rock singer who suffers from headaches. I am guessing the only reason he sells albums is his appearance, but thankfully his singing isn't the focus of the movie. He is at a hospital where he meets this really cute brunette nurse who has very pretty eyes. The rock star takes some time off and hires the nurse to watch out for him. They go driving and they end up in this town they like and he decides that this is where they will stay. They go to the realtors and ask them to show them the most possessed house in the area. Well that didn't happen, but it might as well have. At first when I learned that the house was fully automated, I figured it would be a house goes crazy movie. Then there was the scene with the blood in the shower so it had to be supernatural, hence lies the main problem of the movie. There really isn't a satisfactory explanation as to why the house is possessed. I really felt the ending was a bit abrupt as well. On the plus side I wanted to see a haunted house movie and on that it delivered. There are some death scenes, the closing gate scene being the best, but you could almost predict what was going to happen before it did. The story moves like it is going to some super finish where all is revealed, but like I said nothing is really revealed except for the houses motivation for acting up. You do, however, get to watch a very cute brunette through the whole movie and after the beginning you don't have to put up with any more songs by the awful rock star...well one more, but it really isn't a big deal. Not a great movie, but it has its moments and it was a rather good haunted house movie.
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6/10
Marginally successful haunted house TV flick
The_Void24 June 2008
Considering it's both a TV movie and a haunted house movie, it has to be said that This House Possessed really is rather good; although only on its own terms. The plot follows the story of a burnt out writer and singer of awful pop songs as he moves into a modern computerised house with his live-in nurse and later girlfriend. It's not long before strange things start happening in the house and the nurse comes to believe she may have some connection with it. One problem this film has is the plotting; the first half of the movie is basically a soap opera and while it's not especially uninteresting; it's not really what I tuned in for and it takes a while for the movie to finally get going. The first half of the film does, however, set the characters up, which benefits the film well later on. Naturally, owing to the fact that this is a TV movie, there's no gore and little violence; but there's a few death scenes and most of them are pretty decent. It all boils down to a twist that is made so obvious that I'm not really sure if it's actually supposed to be a twist at all. The idea of the house taking 'revenge' on it's inhabitants is hardly original and even the computer idea had been done previously in 'Demon Seed', but the film generally plays on it's central ideas well and it is at least an interesting film. The film has apparently become quite rare and I wouldn't say it's worth a lot of trouble to track down but if you can find a copy, it is at least worth a look.
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10/10
Great! I'm just desperate for a DVD/Soundtrack (*gasp*) release!
zoltanc6663 June 2002
A haunted house where the haunting manifests most of the time through the computer that controls nearly every part of the house... fascinating. Yet the haunting is so powerful it can kill/watch/manipulate people miles away, and it seems the force inside the house has feelings, since it's main aim is to bring the person it loves into it's power. The script of this movie is highly original and most of the scenes are really great - the "bloody shower" scene or the very atmospheric scenes at the beginning, when the house watches the people through some monitors at night...just sitting there and waiting... - this movie really gets in your mind and stays there. Throw in a very good performance by the female leads and a convincing performance by the male lead, a really great score that helps much to enhance the thick atmosphere created by the extremely good directing, editing and photography, and here you have it: a really outstanding haunted house movie! One reviewer here criticized the use of "suddenly opening doors" in this movie: Well, yes, at one point a door opens itself, but since the house is alive a lot of stuff moves itself here, so you can't criticize that, unless you want to criticize that the movie doesn't need a lot of blood and gore to create tension... Yes, the fire at the end looks not so good at the indoor shots, but, since most of this seems to be shot outside a studio in a real (great-looking) house, I guess they just couldn't burn this great house down! But just look at that cool "breathing-wall" shot! And maybe they were low on budget, too, and if this is true, then it makes the movie even more greater, since to create such a great movie with a low budget is really a masterpiece!
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10/10
I loved this movie! Best Haunted House
Carrigon25 August 1999
This movie stays with you for years. A real creepy tale of a house with a life of it's own. Lots of good scares and weird stuff. Great cast, too. Perfect for a good creepy Haunted House scare. Parker Stevenson plays a rock star and even sings in this movie. It seems the house causes him to get these mysterious headaches and actually manipulates Parker's character into living in it and choosing a nurse to care for him. The house really wants the nurse. It's a really good story.
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8/10
Pre-possessed property
Draconis Blackthorne3 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
A pop singer suffers a nervous breakdown and decides to vacation out in the country, but not before recovering from a fall onstage at the last performance. He takes the attending nurse from the hospital he was recuperating at as a personal nurse, as they slowly fall in love at this remote mansion set in the outskirts of a small town.

The film begins in a rather humorous vain, as a couple decide to 'make out' on the lawn, at which point a hose extends out like a serpent to spray them down, like one would dogs.

The House is indeed alive with some presence, using the resident cameras as veritable eyes; so when the crooner and his love interest move in, they become the subject of rumors throughout the small town, apparently, there were some rather tragic deaths in the house's history, but when the local librarian comes to deliver some interesting documentation, she is invariably crushed to death at the front gates, like the great giant metal teeth of a hell mouth, followed by the manager {with a cutting reflection}, and even intermittent lover Tanya {"there's nothing like a hot blood shower to help get the cobwebs out"...} goes insane.

It is a sort of 'coming home' for Sheila, with the incessant sensation of deja-vu. Sheila reveals that she has no recollection of her existence prior to seven, but "The Rag Lady" knows*, a classic characterization of the 'crazy cat lady' type who lives in a shack filled with garbage... and cats. But she apparently knows too much for The House's liking, divulging her own involvement in its history, gets a scalding dip for her trouble.

The House also does not seem to like the fact that Gary and Lisa are to be married, and refuses to let them out, complete with locking doors, windows, freezing air conditioning, suffocating heat, slammed gates, breathing walls, and the serpentine hose. ∞

_____________

* Played by none other than Joan Bennett, who is recognized as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard of Dark Shadows, in quite a role reversal, displaying quite a range.
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10/10
very atmospheric
liderc9 June 2000
I remember I saw this movie when I was a child. The directing is very good, as is the photography, the editing and the music. The music is fabulous. The strange synthesizer effects, the usage of a special musical theme for some of the main characters. Even the opening theme from the first minutes of the movie is great!! The story is also very good. This movie is really a must-see if you like haunted-house movies.
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8/10
Original horror without blood and gore
Catharina_Sweden24 August 2014
I liked this movie a lot! Like all the best horror movies, it does not show much blood and gore, but works at a psychological, more intelligent level. It does not give away too much too early - the horror comes creeping up on you. There are several mysteries in one, that turn out to be interconnected at the end.

The actors are all good in their roles. It is very easy to feel for the young nurse, who does not feel at home anywhere else but in the hospital where she is working. As it is for many people with traumatized child-hoods.

The solution to the mysteries is very original, without being a disappointment (which is often the case with "original" endings). The only thing I miss, is maybe a solution "behind" the solution. We got to know how but not really why.
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10/10
classic!
MarkusOtzak3 June 2002
Wow! This is not just another silly TV horror movie, this is a classic! The original story, the great directing, photography and the superb score make this a must-see is you are into haunted house movies. Highly atmospheric! When will this movie get it's proper DVD release, I wonder? Ok, the fire effect is a little bit cheap, but on the other hand, who knows what a tight budget they had for this movie? And to come up with a great movie like this on tight budget makes it even more worth honoring. I wonder where the house is that they used for filming?
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7/10
The house that dripped blood ...
Mikew300131 May 2002
A nice 1981 b-horror movie starring the late Joan Bennett and Slim Pickens about a burnt-out pop singer moving with a nurse to a high-tech-house to find out that his new building has an evil intelligence and no regrets to kill its habitants.

This TV production is a b-movie flick with a good horror atmosphere, similar to the late Hammer Horror TV shows and several Twilight Zone episodes, and an eerie Theremin-like mystery sound track. Unfortunately the film lacks of good actors, thrills and good special effects.

In fact, this movie was just made twelve years before "Jurassic Park" but shows primitive special effects like suddenly opening doors or some flame overdubs to suggest a heavy fire that were even better produced in the 1933 version of "King Kong".

"This House Possessed" is not good enough to become a horror classic and also not weird enough to become a classic entry in Michael Weldon's "Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film". At least it's thrilling and great fun to watch after midnight with a bag of crisps and a can of lager beer.
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8/10
A haunted rock star and nurse battle a house!
Sam Panico2 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A rock star has a nervous breakdown and decides to recuperate in a remote house. Yet he finds himself asking, "Am I insane? Or is this house haunted?" Just by reading the title of this movie, I think you know the answer.

Gary Straihorn (Parker Stevenson, former husband to Kirsty Alley and one of TV's Hardy Boys) has hired a nurse named Sheila (Lisa Eilbacher, Bad Ronald) to help him. The house they settle in seems way too familiar for her, but she can't remember a lot of her life. Like the fact that she may be named Margaret. But everyone who either screws with her - like Gary's girlfriend Tanya - or tries to help her, like a woman who gives her some newspaper clippings, all get killed by the house. Can a house fall in love with someone? After you see this, you'll answer: YES.

There's a great cast in this as well, including Slim Whitman (The Howling), Joan Bennett (Suspiria and TV's Dark Shadows), character actor David Paymer, Amanda Wyss (the first person Freddy kills in A Nightmare on Elm Street) and even Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia) shows up in a blink and you'll miss him role.

This movie was directed by William Wiard (his 1980 TV movie The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything was a big deal when it came out) and was written by TV writing and producing vet David Levinson. They'd also work together on another TV movie, Fantasies.

This has never been released on DVD. You're at the mercy of the grey market and YouTube. Trust me, it's worth it.
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6/10
Nice mood, but falls a bit short
dolly_the_ye-ye_bird28 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
First off, I DID actually enjoy this film. The suspense was definitely there, the cast was pretty darn good, and the action was fairly constant, which is more than I can say for a lot of similar films of this period. The worst grievance I have really is that I felt a bit was lacking in the explanation of why the house was possessed in the first place. While I understand that it loved 'Margaret' and wanted her to stay, there was no real explanation of just where the house acquired this personality of it's own. Two other little (really silly)annoyances: One, why did they continually drive around with that bloody back window open on the SUV all the time? And two, what was up with all the bloody singing? I understand he was supposed to be a rock singer (more like lounge singer, but I digress), but why on earth was I subjected to so much of that cheesiness? OK, OK, so it is the ever so slightly endearing cheesiness of an early '80s film, so it's kind of cute...but at one point, I was waiting for the house to hurry up and do him in already so he'd shut up! But all in all, I must admit that I didn't feel as though I'd waisted my time on This House Is Possessed. Actually, I kind of enjoyed it! Worth a viewing.
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10/10
the most memorable movie of my childhood
ishkamin18 August 2003
wow.. well let me start of by saying that it looks like a lot of you are about my age, because I remember seeing this as a child too. I looked on the internet for YEARS and asked everyone about this movie.. I couldn't remember the name. I thought that the name was The House.. anyway.. I searched really hard for this and was SOOO delighted to find it. It was sucha memorable movie for me. I was mesmorized by it even as a 9 year old child. I remember that I loved that house ( with the indoor swimming pool) more than that house loved "sheila"!!! It didn't scare me at all. I just thought that how cool it would be to be Sheila, haha. I am so happy to have found this movie. Now I wonder where I could get a copy to watch with my kids and friends that I have raved about this movie to for years. Every movie about posessed houses or computer run houses reminds me of this movie. This movie must have been the first to explore that plot.
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Gets in your mind and stays there!
Carlin25 October 2000
I haven't seen "This House Possessed" in almost twenty years, but it definitely made an impact on me. Along with the movie "The Entity", the imagery from this film made its way into my subconscious pre-teen mind and lingered in my nightmares for quite some time as one of the truly scariest films I'd ever seen. If horror means "gore" to you, then you probably won't care for this film. But if horror means "capturing the imagination in truly frightening ways" to you, then (as with me) this is your kind of film. Like I said before, it has been a while since I saw it, so I don't remember many of the details clearly, but I will never forget the shower scene. The whole movie made me look at my house in frightening new ways, and it made me glad that we were the house's first occupants. Then I saw "Poltergeist" and everything changed. ;)
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Great Movie!
chel-713 October 1999
I haven't seen it in years, but I saw it at least twice on television. I don't know how it would stand up to time, but I loved it! The house was so cool and modern then - and it was so scary!

Right up there with "The House That Would Not Die"!

Will they ever release these TV movies on video?
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10/10
Best haunted house movie!
spootnek-322 March 1999
Lisa Eilbacher is great in this movie! She holds it all together with her terrific performance! I could sit and watch this over and over! I hope it comes out on video soon! My copy I taped off of TV is just about shot!
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4/10
"If this house can't have me, it'll kill me!"
moonspinner5515 July 2016
TV-made thriller involves Parker Stevenson as a pop singer who is suddenly and mysteriously struck ill; needing a break from his busy schedule, and picking up a young nurse from his recent hospital stay, he happens upon an empty, isolated palatial estate in rural California, one with a dark past. Crack TV writer David Levinson penned this third-rate haunted house teleplay, and was a little late in getting it made--by 1981, the genre had pretty much played itself out. Lisa Eilbacher is the nurse who is ultimately the key to the strange happenings (after being introduced, top-billed Stevenson hasn't much to do). With her serious elfin face and worried little expressions, Eilbacher's later claim that she's never felt so at home as she does being in the house is rather preposterous (this despite the fact the local librarian was recently killed in the driveway!). The scenario itself seems awfully familiar (as does Billy Goldenberg's spooky music, with its echoes of Bob Cobert's score for 1976's "Burnt Offerings"), although the locations are interesting and the supporting players add some interest (much more so than the sleepy leads). The house, it turns out, is obsessed with Eilbacher (which is a ridiculous angle, but let it pass), even returning her old Raggedy Ann doll from childhood; however, nothing in the final 15 minutes manages to explain the fill-in-the-blanks plot. Is there a ghost in the house or are the bricks and mortar holding it up responsible for the haunting?
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3/10
wow. i don't get the reviews here...
hungerartist31 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
i love horror films, low budget, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's.. but how can anyone think this is a very good horror film? let's compare it to titles in a similar vein- haunted house films. the haunting, the changeling, the shining. or for a similar technology based horror film that was FAAAR better, (though still FAR from great) Demon Seed. OK, i'll be fair.. let's compare it to made-for-TV horror films! don't go to sleep.. waaay creepier and better done. salem's lot, the night stalker, night gallery, even don't go in the basement or crowhaven farm were far better. *SPOILERS* first of all, for as good a scene as the bloody shower scene was, you have a scene like the opening scene.. oh boy! the garden hose comes alive to hose down some frisky teenagers! TERRIBLE. also, just what we understand about the house.. it apparently needs to use its video cameras to see what is going on, and it's a very emotional house. not a spirit, or demon, or entity, it's a house thats "possessed", but by what? we are led to believe an inanimate object learned to love suzie/margaret, our protagonist? now that I'm on the topic of suzie.. another scene that totally bothered me, this poor old crazy lady comes, tells you she was your nurse, pours her heart out, falls in the boiling pool, struggling in agony for 45 seconds, and what does margaret do? does she risk her hands being burnt to save this poor elderly woman that came there to warn her's life? no, she stands there and watches! the acting for the most part was better than average for a horror film, but that's where the positives end. for at least a more interesting, and fun horror film about an inanimate object that kills people watch death bed: the bed that eats. i have a feeling the people who rated this so highly either haven't watched it since it originally aired, or remembered it scaring them as children. this film was pretty much merit less.
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8/10
Great Horror Movie from the early 80s!
cath70-16 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I remember this movie scared the crap out of me as I was only 11 at the time. The horror scenes in it were very gory for '81 and for being a TV movie. The scenes I remember are; Blood pouring out of the shower head while a woman takes a shower. The gate at the entry-way closing on someone. The indoor swimming pool overheating and boiling someone alive and killing them. I definitely want to see this again since I was 11 when I saw it last. Parker Stevenson was a cu-tie back then too- Woo Hoo! I believe this was a TV movie - and was pretty good considering it was probably low-budget. The Rag Lady freaked me out too. If anyone has information on how to get a copy of this- I'd be interested though I probably have it taped on a VHS tape from the 80s somewhere at my mom's house.
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NEAT LITTLE THRILLER
jonpd11 December 2002
Utterly weird but extremely neat little TV thriller. Once again a perfect example of how they do not make TV movies like they used to. Parker Stevenson is pretty good as a rock singer who is inexplicably drawn to take a vacation and move into a top-notch, amazing home. Suddenly, strange things start occuring to him and his girl Lisa Eilbacher. Though it has a very low-budget look to it, this film is good entertainment and the last time I viewed it was on TBS several years ago. Worth tracking down.
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8/10
Only Haunted House Possessed by Computer
aesgaard419 December 2000
This movie set me up to be terrified by becoming too set on computers to live on. It's a nice little movie, but is it supposed to be possessed by the computer running the estate, a ghost or by both. It's never really becomes clear. The house's closed-circuit cameras somehow predict that Parker Stevenson's rock star persona will be coming to the house on a sabbatical and will be bringing a nurse with him. The nurse is played by his "Hardy Boys" co-star Lisa Eilbacher apparently to cash in on their chemistry and looks. The house then goes on to kill in some very innovative ways anyone that it deems a threat. It even kills Slim Pickens, Parker's manager, over long distance ! The rest of the story runs smoothly revealing secrets in the forgotten history of Lisa's character and showcases Joan Bennett of "Dark Shadows" fame as the bag lady with all the secrets. This a top notch thriller and mystery for true horror fans who don't want a lot of needless gore.
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4/10
Meh....
MartinHafer16 October 2016
When this film begins, Parker Stevenson (Frank from "The Hardy Boys") is performing some rock-n-roll song, as he's apparently some big music star. However, he soon collapses...a victim of exhaustion from his demanding lifestyle. Soon he awakens in the hospital where he's taken care of by a very pretty nurse (Lisa Eilbacher). When he's able to leave the hospital, he asks this nurse to accompany him as his own private nurse and...well...who knows--she sure doesn't! He then very impulsively buys a smart house--one loaded with cameras and gadgets. But after a while, it becomes apparent that his house has a mind of its own...as if it's possessed. And then...bad things happen!

If this sounds familiar, much of the film is like the made for Disney Channel movie "Smart House" (1999) but with a more malevolent house and an emphasis on spookiness as well as the relationship between the two leads. "Smart House" was fun and for the kids..."This House Possessed" is certainly more adult and not exactly fun. Plus, the nurse has a bizarre back story that comes out late in the film that left me feeling a bit annoyed as it sounded very contrived. So, apart from this and Stevenson's singing, did I like the film? Well, I didn't hate it...but that's probably it. It's gotten 'time-passer' written all over it with nothing all that interesting about it other than seeing Joan Bennett in a small role.
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5/10
A 1981 TV Movie.....a few cool moments....nostalgia
skyme22 June 2015
Like a few others, I saw this when I was a kid. Sure, some moments scared me, too - at the time, fresh horror stories like this on TV were rare, except "Salem's Lot." I actually just watched "This House Possessed" again last night (thanks Youtube!!) for kicks.

The director, William Wiard, had a lot of '60s & mostly '70s TV credit, so the filming mostly has a clean, flat '80s TV feel, with nice California photography & the acting is better than expected. Only a few cool & disturbing effects. The house itself is pretty spectacular.

But holy cow is "This House Possessed" mostly a blasé, slow trip. Sure, it has some of the horror moments...but most scares strangely feel more sci-fi than horror.

I'll probably get thumbs down for saying this, but some people who overwhelmingly praise this movie here on IMDb.com user reviews are too nostalgic - hey, I was there too & I liked it at the time, but trying to be realistic here to folks who haven't seen this.

....a scarier choice is 2002's made-for-TV's "A Haunting in Connecticut." Regardless, if you are curious & have time to kill, give "This House Possessed" a shot - it's on Youtube as of this writing ☺
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5/10
Watchable but mediocre made for TV horror
Bloodwank4 July 2011
Ya know, generally speaking I have quite a lot of time for US made for TV horrors. They may never have gone in for tits, gore or the sort of boggling weirdness that I tend to appreciate most in my horror cinema but they usually made up for it in sincerity and desire to get the job done. This House Possessed just about gets the job done, but its actually kinda weak, despite what other posters here indicate. Part of the problem though by no means the biggest issue is that it doesn't really make sense, or at least doesn't explain itself to an acceptable level. Right from the start we see a melding of technological and supernatural horror, but the two never fuse to any interesting effect, they are simply applied willy nilly whenever one or the other might advance the plot and it leaves the situation rather less than compelling and more obviously contrived. The main problem though is that it simply runs too long. It has enough substance to run perhaps 80 minutes at best but instead is drawn out a tiresome 10 or so beyond that and the characters and situation just don't warrant the extended length. Story wise things are pretty basic, a music star of sorts has a breakdown and decamps along with a personal nurse to an opulent house run by electronics, but there finds that dark forces are afoot. Its a decent set up, but the scares are scant and altogether too much time is spent on the burgeoning romance between the two leads, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I didn't really buy that the (admittedly lovely) Nurse Sheila would fall so easily for her patient, nor did I find much interest in their romance. Parker Stevenson is fairly likable as the ailing star while Lisa Eilbacher is wholly charming as Sheila but their relationship is thinly written and clichéd, making all too much of the film kinda uninteresting. Joan Bennett holds up some measure of suspense as a bag lady who knows what's going on though, and Slim Pickens has a good turn as a manager, both keep things moving. The house itself is a pretty cool place as well, maintaining watch-ability between shocks. The score is quite good as well, theremin and suchlike it gives a reasonable ambiance. All in all this is never completely boring and some of the jolts do work, moreover there's an overall charm to the piece that keeps it going, but its still pretty forgettable. Possibly worth tapping if you really dig made for TV horrors, but otherwise not a film I'd especially recommend, sadly.
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3/10
I have seen movies BETTER than THIS !!!
Vivekmaru4523 December 2010
Basic haunted house formula: Throw in a couple of love birds, a sprinkling of murder, some CHEAP special FX and voilà! you have a made-for-idiots film.

Pros: 1. Good sound effects saves the film from obscurity. 2. Female lead actress is pretty reminding me of Victoria Principle. 3. The male lead actor has a minor role in the film. 4. There is a creepy looking old woman with a cat. 5. The house is state-of-the-art with spy-cameras and a good sized heated swimming pool to boot.

Cons: 1. Hammy acting. 2. NO steamy naked sex scenes. 3. Plot is BOGUS and looks like its written by a seven year old. 4. This film has songs in it. YES SONGS!!! 5. Not enough gore.

Plot: Years ago a man built a fabulous house for his wife and daughter. The house adored this man's young daughter, Margaret, like it had a feeling. The man found out and tried to send Margaret away to safety.... BUT TOO LATE!!! The house found out and killed the man and his wife but sparing the Margaret. Margaret's nanny witnesses the incident and saves her.

Years have since passed and Margaret who is now called Sheila, has now grown up, and working as a nurse in a hospital. She has forgotten all about her past including the house.

After having a nervous breakdown, a singer has to spend some time in hospital. Sheila is hired, and with her he buys a new house, the same house Sheila's father and mother were murdered.

Sheila, can't remember the first years of her life, but this house seems strangely familiar to her. Also, there is this strange old woman who claims that Sheila's real name is Margaret. People who cause Sheila pain or who try to tell her the real story of what happened in this house, they die in strange ways: Tanya, the girlfriend of the singer, and the Library woman who wants to give her some newspaper articles. Can Sheila find out the truth behind all this and can she escape the house that possessed once and wants to possess once more?

Well after having watched Poltergeist, Pulse (1988), The Shining, 1408, The House On Haunted Hill, and Rose Red, I have to say this is just passable watching. I wonder why this film has an average rating of 6???
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