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House 2 - The Second Story

Review by: 
Billion$Baby
Release Date: 
1987
Studio: 
Anchor Bay UK
Genre: 
Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
0 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.85:1
Directed by: 
Ethan Wiley
Cast: 
Arye Gross
Jonathan Stark
Royal Dano
Movie: 
0
Extras: 
1
Bottom Line: 
0

 A long, long time ago, there was once a pretty cool horror comedy called House. It was well received by genre fans so a sequel was fairly inevitable. What nobody could have foreseen was that the sequel would be one of the worst films EVER made in ANY genre.
 
Having seen the original movie for a bargain price, I snapped it up immediately with a gleam in my eye. Just next to it, was copy of House II at what also seemed like another good price. I stress the word "seemed". I had seen about 15 minutes of this sequel on
the television many years ago after a few beverages on a Friday night. I thought that it was awful and switched the TV off very quickly indeed. I thought that perhaps I had caught the film's low-point way back then, and so I decided to pick this up DVD as well.
 
Boy, was I mistaken! The whole film is one big low-point. The next day I had to start quoting the Sale Of Goods Act to the shop manager to get it replaced for something remotely half-decent. No way am I paying any amount of cash for this. If someone offered it
to me for free, I'd still turn them down. So what's wrong with it? Blimey, where to start?!
 
The writer Ethan Wiley delivered a good script for Steve Miner's first film and he then found himself being selected by the series producer Sean S. Cunningham to both write and direct the next film. A writer's
strike or something very similar was imminent so Wiley wrote this script in around 2-3 weeks. It shows. What we have here is one of the most stupid, unfunny, and just plain embarrassing scripts ever written or performed for film or television.
 
A couple arrive at a newly inherited house. The woman is a BIG-SHOT music business woman who's after the new Madonna. It sound's shit already, doesn't it? But no, it gets better. Her house-owning partner has a visit from a friend who's brought his "talented" vocalist companion with her. Yes, you guessed it, apparently she is the new Madonna.
 
Whilst this piss-poor and very badly acted sub-plot is carrying on, the two men dig up the new house-owner's zombiefied great-grandfather. He's a really annoying old man in bad make-up who should have been shot dead as soon as he arrived for the audition. However, Wiley's commentary tells us just how funny he really is. Well, so thinks Wiley...
 
This irritating badly made-up zombie (he's called Jessie or something very much like that) has a "magical" plastic skull which looks like "Made In Taiwan" would be printed underneath it. Crazy (ie, hugely embarrassing!) adventures ensue as these three battle it
out with an entourage of humiliated bad actors, bad dolls and bad puppets that become even worse as the film continues.
 
Sixty minutes later, I just couldn't take it anymore. No, I didn't switch it off, I put the commentary track on which was actually far more amusing than any of the film itself. Here we have long periods of awkward silence whilst Cunningham tries his best to say positive things about the picture, and he also defends Wiley a lot. It's an absolute stinker of a flick and everybody knows it, including Cunningham! Apparently the commentary was completed just after Wiley had directed Children Of The Corn 5 so that's obviously another film to avoid like the clap. Let's just hope that Wiley didn't also write it.
 
Wiley admits to making the film for 10-13 year olds. Apparently he wanted to find a younger audience and provide them with what would be their first ever horror experience. And the last I'd suspect after this example. I can't even see this film being suitable for that age group, maybe the under-10's and even then, I'm skeptical. I don't think that it was at all appropriate to make a sequel like this to an original l reasonably successful film aimed at teenagers or adults. Talk about alienating your own fan base!
 
One of the faults with the original House was its reliance on creatures which looked too rubbery and fake. However, it seems like the most gruesome and convincing splatter film ever made when compared to this. Amazingly this UK incarnation carries a 15 certificate. How did that happen?! Jaws gets a Parental Guidance and this gets a 15? Odd. Maybe Anchor Bay paid the British Board Of Film Classification for that rating?! There are far darker moments and creatures in any of the Star Wars films than you'll ever see here. And that includes the ewok babies.
 
Anyway, these are just SOME more of the bad things to point out:
 
The most static and unimaginative direction that you have ever seen. The camera stays still all the way through the film. It never moves around.
 
One of the joys of cinema is watching an effect or a set come alive on the screen. Here, the sets look just like the woeful cheap sets that they really are. The creatures, character make-ups or their costumes don't fare any better.
 
We have a pet baby dinosaur bird loose in the house. This is quite possibly the worst puppet ever made. It makes the Mr Cadbury's Parrot from the television ads look like a living creature.
 
The "party" scene. Yes, people pretending to dance to shit music in yet another bad set. How embarrassing...
 
The wrestler who's appears as a Caveman trying to steal Jess' magical Taiwanese skull.
 
This was probably the funniest. "Natives" with painted faces and straw skirts coming down from the chimney and trying to steal that skull again.
 
The pet who's brought back from another time or world. This completely static piece of rubber is bright green with a caterpillar's body and...a dog's face. We see a lot of this creature here. And even two seconds would have been far too long!
 
Bad performances from every actor.
 
I could go on. And on and on and on. But I think you get the idea.
 
This is the bottom line. I'd rather butt-fuck my own grandmother than watch House II ever again. And she died over 15 years ago.
 
If anybody over the age of 5 ever recommends this film to you, kill them.
 
Extras? Who cares?! I haven't seen House 3 or 4 but they can't possibly be any worse than this.
 

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