Greetings fellow creepazoids. This time around I’m going to take a look at the super low-budget horror anthology Horror House, directed by Evan Marlowe, and starring none other than Troma head honcho Lloyd Kaufman himself. I’ve always had a soft spot for anthologies. Every anthology I’ve ever seen had at least one story I enjoyed watching. So allow me to talk a little about Horror House and we’ll see whether or not this was an exception to the rule.
Lloyd Kaufman plays Joe, who is possibly the world’s most honest real estate agent. He introduces the five stories we get to see, and one would think he’s a terrible real estate agent for telling people about the bad things that previously happened in the house. But he’s gotten people to buy in the past, so apparently he may actually be one of the best real estate agents in the whole damn world. So I’ll just give a brief synopsis of each story to give you an idea of what you’re in for.
In “Never Let Go”, A pregnant mother can add a child wanting to murder her to her list of things to worry about.
“Be Careful What You Wish For”: Coming home to find her fiancée cheating on her, Anna find a tarot card in his pocket and inadvertently turns to supernatural help to get results.
“Hot Stuff”: Andy thinks he’s too good for average looking women. But the most recent woman he picks up and discards gives him what he deserves.
“Lifelike”: A loner girl’s obsession with a doll goes to extreme and disturbing levels.
“The Leapling”: Young Ben’s insistence with reading a scary bedtime story makes him believe a monster is stalking him. But it’s just a story, isn’t it?
Horror House is hit or miss in some areas. The acting throughout is pretty much touch and go. Some performances aren’t very good, but there are a few diamonds in the rough to help keep it tolerable. And Lloyd is, well, Lloyd. Anyone who knows the man knows just what I mean by that. He seems like he’s having a good time hamming it up.
Most of the stories are actually pretty decent, with the least entertaining to me personally being “Be Careful What You Wish For”. There’s not too much to speak of in the way of effects, as only two of the stories (Hot Stuff and The Leapling) rely a fair amount on practical and a little computer effects. And things like music and wardrobe seemed to me to fit well with each story they correspond to. Given that it’s a low-budget indie, I think they did quite well considering. At the same time, the low-budget did serve to hamstring them somewhat with limitations.
In the end, while it’s not a polished Hollywood feature with millions of dollars thrown into it, Horror House did pretty well with what it had to work with. While I can’t exactly give it the highest of ratings, I still recommend you give it a shot. You can find it On Demand October 1st, so why not begin Halloween month with this anthology? Rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 3 out of 5 tombstones