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Look great, but...
JoeB13115 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This was shot on a budget and looks pretty good, but overall, the narrative made no sense.

The plot is that there was a famous murder by a religious fanatic foster care provider who beat her charges while quoting scripture to them. When they rebelled, she killed all of them. A neighborhood kid was a witness.

Flash forward... a woman had nightmares related to the house, and a haunted house profiteer sets up a complex haunted house with state of the art holograms. We discover that she is not the girl who found the house, but the house's sole survivor.

Overall, though, the movie is tame. Most of the kills (those involving women and children) are done in cutaway. And the twist comes about a mile off. The ending is ambiguous. Who killed everyone, anyway? Who cares.

Jeffrey Combs tries to inflate this into something better than the average dead teenager flick, but the whole notion of "You didn't really see holograms/ghosts killing people, it was the crazy chick all along" ending just didn't make sense.

Just dropped this from a 5 to a 3 just thinking about the plot illogic. First, that a kid who survived such a horror wouldn't be CLOSELY monitored and watched by authorities. Or that the building would be left standing. (Sorry, usually when a mass murder happens, they TEAR DOWN the building, and rightfully so.)

The expendable black guy(TM) stumbling around for a few minutes after being decapitated was just silly.
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I didn't hate this, but it sucked.
aloysius_predato2 October 2010
It was a nice idea, and the little twist at the end was a nice touch. However, I could not get past how morosely less than even one-dimensional the characters were, and how laughably rote, non-creative and cliché-ridden the dialogue was during this movie.

The bare outline of the story is intriguing, but the script really was terrible. The acting was either waaaaaaay overdone or shifted from being overdone to underdone and back again. Now, I can forgive such things if the proper atmosphere, suspense and effects are plausibly included. This was not the case with 'Dark House'. I am of the old school, and would rather see authentic make-up and gore effects. I cannot stand CGI effects that look worse than a Playstation 1 game. To this film's credit, it does mix both; however, the absurd CGI effects detracted from this film big-time in my mind.

Skip this one, it isn't so bad it's funny, the death and gore is very average, the 'brief nudity' (if that's your bag) is CGI, and the 'Dark House' looks just like a normal suburban house. It's not what it claims to be or what you think it might be. It's nothing special.
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Had Potential... too bad it lost it.
lorettathome-121 August 2010
This movie took a good first 5 minutes then lost me completely until the last 5 minutes, so 70 of the 80 some minutes of this movie were a total waste of my time.... If I were a teen who still went for the over the top kiddy scare stuff, then I may have liked it all the way through. Oddly this movie felt like 2 different movies made into one, the first few moments and the last were one movie, the middle a totally different movie all together, if they would have taken out the middle and done something totally different than they did, I may have liked this movie a lot.

For adults who like real horror movies, not special effect no mind entertainment... I give this a 1 in 5 stars. For a teen who still scares easily and isn't much into it making sense, I give this a 3 in 5 stars.
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The Horror of Predictability
jet6620 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
By-the-numbers gory house movies usually steal from the best (13 Ghosts, House on Haunted Hill, etc.), then season with a little Rob Zombie. In this case, it's a tedious slog through a familiar laundry list of action. A bad script, poor direction and cheap effects only make the journey all the more boring.

Suspension-of-disbelief is impossible from the beginning. A young girl enters a spooky house and immediately stumbles on a bloody child's body. Rather than react like most people, and run in terror, she calmly continues on, discovering one horror after another. What finally shocks her isn't any gore, but an attempt at a startling, visual cliché.

The rest of the movie is the usual tepid broth of skeptics getting killed by supernatural forces, and threadbare "Quick! Run! But there's Now Way Out!" scenes. There's little to see here that hasn't been done many times before, except maybe in a porn parody.
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Dark House
Scarecrow-882 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Jeffrey Combs' Walston Rey is an enthusiastic owner of haunted house attractions, preparing for his biggest and best yet, the old Darrode estate notorious for a massacre of orphans at the hands of their den mother. Claire(Meghan Ory)is the lone survivor of that massacre and her memories of that awful day are buried within her mind..encouraged by her therapist, Claire will coerce the students of her acting class to accept Rey's job offers to work in various roles in his new spook house, leading patrons through his "maze of horrors" utilizing state of the art digital holograph technology( a sort of Illusion system)to scare them. What none of them could ever imagine is that the evil spirit of Janet Darrode(Diane Salinger)would corrupt the computer program using holographic killers as tools to murder and maim. The reason behind the slaughter, that great mystery, will become known once it is unlocked in Claire's mind. Ms. Darrode, we come to find out through snippets of memory which return to Claire as she spends time in the house, was a religious fanatic who whipped her children repeatedly while they quoted verse, believing them to be demon possessed. Claire, in a sense, is the one "who got away" and it seems that Janet wants to claim one final soul so she can be "acquitted" for failing to finish the job. In this movie we are led to believe that holographic killers can gain enough physical essence to attack real human beings thanks to Janet's infecting the programming which brought them to life..a bit too silly and far fetched for me personally, although there's an ending(a twist, I guess)that questions everything we witnessed take place once the doors and windows were locked shut and Ms. Darrode started up the killing spree. Other victims to emerge include two journalists who will write articles on the house, critiquing how effective it is(learning first hand)and Rey's haunted house crew. The gore which does appear on screen, is mostly digital, a head taken off with a fountain squirting blood upward like a geyser and long fingernails impaling another. Combs understands his character is a ham and approaches him that way, amusing in his speeches to his employees about fear and the audience.
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My toaster scares me more than this waste of time
ruthnoakes30 August 2010
Reading some of the positive reviews that Dark House has received makes me wonder if there is something wrong with me, but then I remember: no, there is something wrong with this film.

I have always been a horror buff, so I forgive the inevitable cliché moments that are trademark to the genre. But I just found this film to be absolutely hollow. I was hoping for a fun spooky journey, but instead was served: shockingly bad acting (on some of their parts, not all), and a completely predictable, bland storyline. It felt like the equivalent of the not- funny uncle at a family reunion trying desperately to make everyone laugh; only in this case the aim was to scare.

By nature I am quite jumpy, even the sound of the toast popping out of the toaster can make me jump out of my skin. But I can honestly say I did not even flinch, and was bored to the point of comatose. I like it when horror movies look mildly makeshift or amateur, or have a grungy misguided feel, as it can make them more genuine and edgy; but this just looked like something pieced together by a bunch of pretentious film students assigned a last-minute project. Without adding any spoilers, all I can say is that the transitions, layering of footage, and the embarrassing fonts flashing up for the hologram error were like something a first- time filmmaker would put together in paint shop or movie-maker.

It's just a shame that with the advancements that have been made in the film industry, the visuals or atmosphere could not even compensate for the lack of storyline. I've seen films on much lower budgets, and made back in the day where there were no technical advantages, irrefutably better than this waste of time. I couldn't even laugh at it.
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A fantastic horror movie- and a total surprise!!
scottmannen114 August 2010
Wow, most of the time when you watch some of these horror movies you expect to see crap. Thats what I was expecting when I watched this, but amazing this was definitely a hidden gem! Fantastic horror movie, decent acting, good story and direction. I mean its not an Oscar winning movie, but for the genre, you cant ask for anything better! I would recommend this movie to any horror buff! This movie reminded me a little bit of house on haunted hill. 10 people trapped in a horror buffs 'scare house'. The movie starts with a fright, and doesn't let up until the end!

It was VERY scary and to be extra freaked out I would suggest watching this in the dark....if you dare! Enjoy this gem!
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princetheja8 December 2009
Shot in just 18 days, Dark House looks, sounds and feels a lot better than the majority of studio horror films I see in any given year. I have a few minor quibbles (some unnecessarily unflattering / ageing lighting on the young women, plus a padded climax that softens the existing impact of a certain revelation) but overall, I've got to say this movie delivers on every expected level. Those representing Good (Claire) and Evil (Mrs. Darrode) are excellent and the actors deserve all due credit, but the standouts in supporting roles are definitely Combs, Whyte, and Cole. Each of them adds depth and texture to characters that could easily come across cardboard. Combs chews scenery, but he does it with rakish, fun-loving panache; Whyte is encumbered with costume, affectation and accoutrement, but his indisputable spirit shines through; and Cole plays the stereotypical gloomy goth girl with droll wit and intelligence.

If you enjoy old-fashioned haunted house flicks with plenty of snarky humor, unabashed boo-scares, and grand guignol gore, step into Dark House.
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I want my 2 hours back
BonitApplebaum23 October 2012
This was the biggest cinematic waste of time that I have encountered in a LOOOOONG time. I think the creators of this mind-numbing, crap-tastic cinematic adventure must have forgotten to take their ADD meds, because the plot was all over the place. I had to back it up 3 or 4 times just to figure out what in the heck was going on... and to make sure I was still watching the same flick. Sorry kids... you can add all of the blood and gore you want... without a plot that any reasonable person can actually follow... it's a total waste of time. The only scary thing I can think of regarding this title is the idea that people actually got paid to create it... I am a horror FANATIC, but I simply couldn't find it in me to be even remotely frightened by "Dark House". Two thumbs WAY DOWN. I'm telling you, don't waste your time...
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Nonsensical but diverting.
Hey_Sweden13 October 2013
The filmmakers here have fun with their "Ghost in the Machine" type premise of an evil spirit infecting technology and using it to slaughter their victims, all in very macabre (and digitally created) ways. That's the good thing: they're clearly having a good time, giving their movie a fair bit of energy and pace and going to town with the visual effects and splatter. There's also some dark comedy thrown into this mix, and a surprise or two (there are some jump scares in this that actually work, and that's because they're NOT expected). In the end, one is likely to forget this pretty quickly, but enjoy themselves while the movie plays out.

Meghan Ory stars as Claire, who as a seven year old girl was witness to the massacre of some other children in a foster home. The perpetrator was devoutly religious and over the top, a sadistic foster mother named Mrs. Darrode (Diane Salinger). Now Claire is a teen aged drama student who learns that "house of horrors" creator / showman Walston (Jeffrey Combs, who may provide enough reason to watch for those who otherwise wouldn't bother checking this out) is setting up his latest attraction in that same house. He hires her and her fellow students to interact with his holographic creations; Claire has encouraged her peers to participate because her memories of that traumatic day are still tormenting her, and she wants closure.

I frequently throw out the word "undemanding" in some reviews, because that's pretty much what one often has to be to go with entertainment like this. Some people may find it just too ridiculous, and unbelievable, to get on board, but others will like the cool holograph characters and the grisly (if cartoon like) kill scenes. The actors adequately do what they have to do. Combs plays his part in the appropriately hammy fashion, and is the true highlight of the film. Salinger is an amusing villainess; 80s film buffs may remember her as Simone in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure". Erin Cummings ("Bitch Slap") is foxy reporter Paula, Tom Gulager (the "Feast" series) a mad scientist, R.A. Mihailoff ("Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre") one of the apparitions, and Don Stark ('That '70s Show') has a small part as a detective.

All in all, this quick and silly romp is agreeable enough to watch.

Six out of 10.
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Visit the Dark House
gregsrants10 September 2010
When a group of drama students are hired to play parts in a live action haunted house attraction, things go from fun to fatal in Dark House – a film presented at the Fangoria Frightfest.

Jeffrey Combs plays Walston Rey, a flamboyant man channeling Geoffrey Rush's character from 1999's House on Haunted Hill. Walston recruits the young actors to play roles in a house considered haunted by legend due to a 14-year-old murder spree of young children by psycho Janet Darrode. Miss Darrode also perished gruesomely in the house and the legend of her spirit haunting the home has become legendary.

Walston's intention is to have two reporters visit the house and with the use of his live actors and a sophisticated audio-video-hologram system, they will be able to project images of everything from flesh eating zombies to axe wielding clowns.

Meghan Ory plays Claire, an acting student who just so happens to have a history with the house as she was the last child to venture through its doors and exit alive. Fourteen years of therapy and bad dreams lead to her confrontation with her demons in the house when the holograms come alive and begin to diabolically kill all those trapped inside.

Dark House is filled with true scares and some of the creepiest ghost-like monsters since Thir13een Ghosts in 2001. Director Darin Scott working on his own screenplay mixes some quality scares with spooky characters and it is no surprise that the film was the winner for best feature at the Shriekfest Film Festival in 2009.

Not all the humor in Dark House works to the expected result and the film commits the new cardinal horror sin (at least amongst fans) with the overuse of CGI blood. But Dark House is able to maintain a sense of creepiness and doesn't over say its welcome coming in at a brisk 85 minutes.

Not having heard or read much about the film prior to viewing, I was surprised on how much I enjoyed Dark House. The film hit just enough right notes to make me forgive the small sins (again, the CGI) and accept it as an effective horror that is worth a visit.

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Some things are good but you probably won't want to slog through it
backus1611-126 October 2012
If you ignore the story you can find things to enjoy. First and best is Jeffrey Combs acting a completely different character than I have ever seen. I think it's his best. Does that make it worth seeing? No, unless you are fan. Secondly, again ignore the story, and enjoy the sets and vivid colors. Yes stupid reason to watch a movie but nice to see a non-drab movie. Third, there are four great camera shots, i.e. angles etc. that would really work well with a better script.

Negatives, except for obvious, really could do without the Joe Jonas and Johnny Depp lookalikes. The Depp one even tried to act like him. The decapitation blood scene is as bad as Tokyo Gore Police (one you absolutely have to watch. The big bad evil woman's hair and acting in last scenes is more comical than scary. Terrible smarmy cops summing up the crimes, unbelievable acting of the little girl who discovers the bodies in the beginning of movie, and horrible idea of the black spooky mist flying around the room. But did like the squirrel crossing the electric lines behind the adult "little girl" in the very last scene.
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What A Mess!
amymadwell10 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
My husband and I had to watch this film almost two full times through back to back to attempt to figure out what was going on. It starts off with a young girl about 9 from the looks of her walking into a house of a mass murder but instead of bursting into tears and running away as most little girls would this one slowly looks around at every dead body. Whoever wrote this and directed must not have had children. As if that wasn't odd enough it cuts to a woman in her 20s waking up from a nightmare 14 years later only to learn she is actually now a college student taking acting classes with one of every campy horror cliché. Dumb blonde, jock, black kid, angst filled goth girl and so on. The acting is terrible and it reminds you of your children's school play but not as adorable.

Now we have these college kids going to work at the same house the mass murders took place in which is unlikely this house would realistically be sold or open to the public in any way after the slaughtering of children. For the next hour we are to sit through every predictable cheesy horror ploy. It goes very slow and at some points you are not sure what is going on and what direction they are trying to go with this.

Meghan Ory is the lead. A nice looking girl. The best actor among these kids but the end is a disaster. After spending the longest hour and a half you could imagine leading you to believe you are following at least for the most part what is going on to who and how they inject a random end scene to frustrate you.

The last 2 minutes of the film cut to a woman in her mid 30s standing in front of the house with a young jock. Stereotypical meat-head type you would find in B flick movies from the 70s. This alone was confusing. It never occurred to me this woman could possibly be one of the children let alone the little girl from the beginning of the film grown up. They said 14 years have passed in the beginning of this mess which means the adult should be around 23 years old not a 30 something. Sure enough she walks in , how you ask? Apparently anyone can get in this house at any time. Once you get through the 2-3 lines that were said more like a town play of "The King and I" circa 1952, over the top as if she would twirl around the stage gazing up at the skies breaking out into song you realize you have no idea what happened. The urge to laugh at this bad acting is tempered by pure confusion.

This was the ending. I look at my husband and ask what happened? What was that? Who was that? He didn't know either. Frustrated we just wasted all this time we went to IMDb to try and put a name and character to the face and figure out her role in the story. The actress was Angela Gots playing Tammy. Who is Tammy? I never heard the name Tammy used once. There was a whole separate movie a bad one but a movie and a separate story in the last 2 minutes. At this point we are sure we are not crazy here. There was no character Tammy. It is like they needed to hit a certain time limit and took any random woman and asked her if she could recite these 3 lines. We rewatched the beginning with the little girl. No Tammy, no inclination this child would be the ending. Went through the middle, no Tammy. The ending with the actress herself no mention of Tammy. Of course we are confused. What kind of games is this movie and IMDb playing! Having the lead girl (Meghan Ory) be the one who did it all would be predictable but at least it would not be quite as ridiculous and she was the best actor in the cast. Overall it took over 3 hours to attempt to understand a 90 minute film. I can't believe a studio made this, my goodness!
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Exceptionally poor script and direction
rogue71925 November 2011
Awful movie. What's worse, it's so bad you can't make much of a judgment about the cast other than how pretty they are.

The setup is basic haunted house horror. As a child, Claire entered the Darrode House, saw something terrifying, passed out and for years since has been haunted with horrifying nightmares. As a young wannabe actor, she refuses to take medications that cut her off from her feelings. Her acting class runs an exercise of no value other than to give the audience a thumbnail stereotype of each character and then we get the horror-meister who wants to setup a reality/horror type show in the old Darrode House. Claire jumps at the chance to face her fears, buttressed by a crowd of people she knows and talks them into becoming the cast for the new show.

What follows is the most ridiculous, contrived horror-schlock that has nothing to do with the setup, no rising action, just scene after scene of hellish horror with no real context.

This was so bad that I couldn't make it through the whole thing. Not frightening and not even titillating enough to put up with how horrible it is as a motion picture. About halfway through my wife and I finally gave up on it. it's so bad that were I to have gone to see it in a walk-in theater, I would have walked out.

Someone PLEASE stop Darin Scott before he writes and directs again! Or get him some classes in screen writing and directing and a decent mentor?
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" The Nightmares of a child begin and end with the superstitions of a guardian "
thinker169127 March 2011
This movie is a surprisingly good Horror story. To insure it, we have the master of terror Jeffery Combs. It tells the tale of a house wherein a caretaker has in her charge a group of impressible children. However the caretaker goes berserk and believes her tiny wards have somehow become demons and are out to dam her to hell. Before they do, she murders all of them and then commits suicide. However one of the children survives, but not without suffering a deep trauma. Her psychiatrist, tells her that in order to exorcise her demons, she must revisit the house where the gruesome murders took place. At the same time an impresario, (Jeffery Combs) seeking to create the ultimate Haunted House, leases the nightmarish resident, hires a group of actors to staff his house of horrors with state-of-the-arts holographs visual effects and to scare the daylights out of his visitors. What he fails to count on is the evil resident Ghosts and spirits which produce real life terrors of their own. What follows is a genuine blood bath and one which is guaranteed to scare the wits of any and all. What begins as a game, results in a great movie for Jeffery Combs fans. Exceptional acting and good special effects will make this film another milestone in his already impressive career. Recommended to any and all horror film addicts. ****
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You'll want the 85 minutes of your life back if you watch this.
rick79robertson8 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is absolute crap. A cheap rip-off of House on Haunted Hill. Lots of hissing. Lots of bad gore. This wouldn't pass for a middle school video project. It's hard to believe a studio actually paid for this drivel. The only good thing to say was it wasn't longer than it was. I watched this on Chiller which meant this poor excuse for horror was interrupted regularly by commercials. Don't waste your time!!!!A drive-in theater wouldn't even show this......There is a brief minute or two near the end where you get to hear some pseudo-Satanic language that is almost scary but her makeup and hair are so hilariously over the top that you laugh instead of feeling afraid.
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Just, kinda forgettable
PatheticNewGuy14 March 2012
Actors work at a fake haunted house only to find out it's real.

DARK HOUSE aims for the always popular haunted house movie but falls way short. For starters, it takes 30 minutes to get to the house & no scares once there.

Coombs is good but the back story is lame & grinds the movie to a halt every time it's explained, which is often. The other actors are all serviceable but no one stands out. And, I'll add, a twist so cornball it needs to be explained.

It does not fall under the so bad it's good category, as it's not bad, just boring.

For Coombs fans only.
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Fun & bloody haunted-house horror
Shattered_Wake25 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Fourteen years ago (even though some of the cars were from the mid-2000s), Claire (Meghan Ory) was horrifically traumatized in the "Darrode House," the site of a brutal massacre that left seven children dead by the hand of their evil foster mother Miss Darrode. In present day, Claire is plagued with night terrors, panic attacks, and other psychological ailments rooted deep in her suppressed memories of that terrible day. To fight these fears, her psychiatrist tells her that she must return to the scene of the event and face what happened there so many years ago. She gets her chance when her acting troupe, which is composed of a jock, a black guy, a goth, a slutty blonde, etc. (seriously), decides to join a high-tech haunted house for Halloween. But, uh oh! The creator of the haunted house, entrepreneur Walston (played by horror icon Jeffrey Combs), has chosen none other than the Darrode House itself in which to stage the house of terrors! As expected, Miss Darrode and her house are not happy with their unwelcome visitors. . .

As many horror fans will tell, it is very difficult to make a great "haunted house" movie. Even those who believe in the paranormal often do not fall for many of the tricks & scares that are frequent in ghost-themed horror films. Other than 'Paranormal Activity,' it has been several years since the U.S. has had an overly successful (critically and/or financially) haunted house film, instead having mediocre pictures like 'An American Haunting' or 'The Haunting in Connecticut.' One of the major failures of the subgenre comes from the lack of subtlety that ends up ruining any chance at real terror. That being said, it seems that 'Dark House' was never made to be 'the next great haunted house film.' It was aware of its limitations and, instead of true fear, it went for the next best things in horror: fun & blood. And, while a darker 'Dark House' may have been a welcome idea, this way worked well enough for a fun evening.

On the technical side of the film, there isn't a lot to complain about. Unfortunately, there isn't too much to be praised either. The cast had its flaws, especially when they took their roles as the haunted house characters. Making this worse was the ridiculous dialogue written for them, turning what would just be laughable stereotypes into something much, much more annoying and frustrating. Luckily, Jeffrey Combs, as he so often does in films like this, acts as saviour. It would be difficult to write a character for Combs that would be anything close to annoying, and that's why viewers will be grateful to have this slightly creepy, often funny madman in the film. Looking past the dialogue, the writing isn't too awful. The story progression and overall plot was fairly trite, but it was delivered in such a way that made it entertaining enough to look past its general lack of originality. As for the element of this film that seemed to matter most, the special effects were quite wavering in their quality. The "hologram" effects & transitions were actually done fairly well, but the quality quickly degraded anytime the holograms interacted/attacked the humans. Given the budget, however, the FX weren't really a disappointment.

Overall, this is not going to be a film that will go down in the annals of horror history as great or memorable cinema. However, viewers looking for an entertaining evening with a few jump scares and some gore will find enjoyment in 'Dark House.'

Final Verdict: 6/10.

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I love this type of film
spikemaze20 November 2011
This is an example of a classic, entertaining horror movie. And who better to star in it than Jeffrey Combs? He's one of the best horror actors out there and is greatly underrated.

A little girl witness a massacre and 14 years later takes the advice from her therapist to visit the house once again. It is now a commercial horror house. But of course everything doesn't go as planned.

Tired of horror movies that never really shows a thing and only run on atmospheric tension? Or of movies pretending to be horror when it's actually a thriller? This movie goes back to the good old-fashioned horror. You'll be entertained. You'll laugh, you'll be scared and you'll want more.
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Dare Enter the Dark House (Creepy Laughter)
adam-18942 November 2010
The infamous Darroh (or something similar that almost sounds like dark) House in which seven foster children where brutally murdered 14 years ago, is being reopened as a horror attraction called Dark House. The owner of this horror bonanza (Waltson) hires six actors from an advanced acting class to scare the audiences. One of them, Claire (played by Megan Ory), witnessed the brutal suicide of the children's tormentor and views this new position as a way to bury the demons of the past.

To assist are brave actors, the house works by an advanced hologram system designed to react to fear and excitement. The system gets possessed by the evil ghost of the foster mother and madness ensues. Soon our main protagonist and her friends realize they are locked in with no escape. To makes matters worse these holograms have the power to do real harm. Will they make it out alive?

Overall I believe this movie grades into solid C (C+ maybe). The hologram idea is a little far-fetched, but it creates an interesting movie, not a terrible scary one. The acting is on cue with this type of movie (Including Jeffery Combs from the infamous Re-Animator) and the ending is a surprise, a rarity these days. If your in for something a little more cheesy then Waxwork, give it a gander.
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Daft House
sebpopcorn23 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I just couldn't believe how poor this movie was! The description sounded good and it's got positive reviews and even won an award. I honestly had to double check I'd got the right movie.

First off the acting, it's terrible except for the mad hag who is OK. These characters are supposedly drawn from "an advanced acting class" if you can believe that. Imagine what the basic acting class would have been like.

The plot is ridiculous and so incoherent that it requires two previously unseen characters at the end to explain it, and then throws in a twist that's just pointless.

The computer malfunction is especially bad. You keep getting shots of it with various warnings like firewall breached, virus detected, malfunction, accidentally installed Vista etc - we get it! On top of all that this film wouldn't scare a five year old. You could take the basic idea of people working in a haunted house being picked off and make a really good scary movie, it's a shame they didn't have the skill to do it.

Thinly sketched characters you don't care about, lame jump shocks with loud noises, incoherent plot, crappy acting and no real tension..yep, it's a modern horror movie!
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Barely acceptable horror film
hellholehorror5 October 2017
Solid sound design with good use of surround. The picture looked boring. Very unimaginative story, totally unbelievable and a bit of a mess. Barely acceptable horror film lacking anything engaging. The problem is that they don't understand why people like dark house rides so when they make a film of it they get it wrong.
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"She develops more bugs than Windows Vista"
MisterCrit25 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This review will most definitely contain spoilers. But, since I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone watch this film, I don't feel that bad about divulging pieces of the "plot." I do not like writing bad reviews. Really, I try to find redeeming qualities in most movies, which is also why I find myself watching the entirety of movies that I wished I'd stopped five minutes in. This is one of those movies.

I knew within the first three minutes that this was not going to be a good movie. The fake blood thrown all over the stuffed animals during the opening credits solidified my premonition of terribleness. I could not help but feel distracted by the copious amounts of watery, randomly distributed blood dripping from the dolls, posters, and stuffed bears throughout the beginning. Don't get me wrong, I love a good, bloody horror film a la Evil Dead, but this wasn't that.

Then, in a brief glimpse of hope, three precocious little girls appeared, and I always love precocious film children. I even enjoyed the dialogue: "You can't go in there!" "Watch me." But, alas, everything went downhill from there.

To begin with, why would the brave little girl who entered the supposedly scary Darrode House not scream when she saw several dead children strewn throughout the house? It takes an eye seen through a keyhole to make her scream. Seriously? Not even the woman jamming her hand down the disposal in the kitchen sink gleaned a tiny ounce of fear? Okay, sure, fine, whatever.

We move on...

The characters are nothing less than stereotypical, teen-or-young-adult horror kill-offs. There's even a token black guy, but he's not the first to die, which I guess is progress. I wanted to believe that Jeffrey Combs, who we should all remember from such films as Re-Animator and The Frighteners, would redeem the film, but I was disappointed. That is not to say his portrayal of the energetic horror-attraction creator extraordinaire wasn't what it was supposed to be. It was. But, it wasn't enough to redeem any part of this mess of a film.

I am generally a fan of B horror movies, especially those from horror fest series. I can usually recognize the work put into making a low budget film look and feel great. This movie was simply lacking in every area from writing, to direction, to editing and special effects. On the latter, the special effects were, simply put, terrible. Not only that, but they were used far too frequently to be scary or even funny.

On that note, I wanted the film to end up being funny. If it wasn't going to be scary or even good, at least it could reach for campy. Some of the dialogue almost hit the mark. I even thought I might see some funny lesbian subplot at one point due to a quick line exchanged between catty-blonde-bimbo-actress and lesbian-blonde-horror-attraction-creator. Alas, this never occurred, and the humor ceased as quickly as it came. Oh, but I really do hate it when I vomit noxious green gases. That's always a bummer.

By the time the twist was revealed, I just did not care anymore. I did, however, feel a bit perturbed by the children's decision to burn the Bibles that Mrs. Bat-Crap-Crazy Darrode was misinterpreting and abusing instead of, oh, I don't know, killing her. Would that not have solved their problems? And I am sure the authorities would have forgiven them given the abusive nature of the situation. Then again, we wouldn't have a movie, would we?

Oh, and nice recap at the end.

I love good haunted house movies. I really do. I grew up watching the original William Castle pictures, House on Haunted Hill and 13 Ghosts, over and over again. When those two films were remade, and when those loose remakes turned out to be absolutely terrible, I more than threw up in my mouth. I threw up on Tony Shalhoub. (Not that I dislike Tony Shalhoub, but why was he in Thir13en Ghosts?).

Dark House is the same caliber as Thir13en Ghosts and the House on Haunted Hill remake. It's not scary, it's not well-made, it's not even funny. If you listen to me, you'll avoid this film... unless, of course, you want to write a bad review, then by all means watch this movie for plenty of bad review fodder.
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A wreck
ctomvelu126 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This poor man's copy of House on Haunted Hill (the remake, which also happened to feature Jeffrey Combs) and 13 Ghosts (the remake with a thoroughly miscast Tony Shalhoub) features a flamboyant and huckster-ish impresario (Combs, in a role closely patterned on the impresario in HOHH) renovating an old house that was the scene of a mass murder into a haunted house attraction. The fact that the house was not torn down after the murders, and that it is on a residential street in a town rather than situated off some interstate highway exit is highly questionable, of course. The impresario has installed state-of-the-art holograms of scary faces and ghostly images, and hires a group of college students to serve as guides and hosts. Not a bad start, but the flat performances of the students is a dead giveaway that this will be just another clueless-teens-trapped-in-a-murder-house quickie. They will live to regret their decision to enter this particular house. In the end, it turns out the killer isn't who we may have thought it was, but the wrap-up is overly confusing for no particular reason. And the special effects can't hold a candle to the effects in HOHH or 13 GHOSTS. Combs tries his best in what amounts to a just plain bad movie.
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absolutely amazing film
baybee_lozi18 December 2010
oh man....that was incredible, a lot better than i expected! only watched it out of boredom, yet after just moments i was totally gripped, never a dull second, seriously if your thinking of watching this film don't be put off by the cover making it look a bit predictable like i was for SO long, because its AMAZING!!! seriously, if your easily creeped out don't watch it, otherwise this is possibly one of the best films you will ever see. I really hope they make a second to this film, or at least make one with the same level of scariness, because this has definitely raised the bar for horror films. THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD BE MAKING THEM, Hollywood PEOPLE! NOT TOTALLY PREDICTABLE DRIZZLE! THIS IS A TRUE HORROR FILM! okay if this doesn't convince you, i really don't know what will, and your totally missing out.
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