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HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Ethan Wiley

Starring:
Arye Gross
Royal Dano
Bill Maher
John Ratzenberger
Lar Park Lincoln


Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
House II picks up where the first film didn't leave off, as Jesse (Arye Gross), inherits the evil mansion that his parents were murdered in when he was an infant. He believes that his great, great grandfather hid treasure in the house. Instead of finding the loot, he finds his crazy old Grandfather, who has somehow kept himself alive using an Aztec skull. Only, there's monsters that want that skull and will travel through time portals to get to it. Yeah, that's pretty much it!
Is it good movie?
Okay, so this one wasn't so hot. I know that the idea here is somewhat similar to the first one, but this sequel substitutes the Vietnam stuff for Old West stuff and throws most of the horror elements out the window. Really, the movie almost seems like something suited for 12 year olds. I mean, you get lots of cute little animals and creatures running around that are hardly scary.

Not only that, but the house isn't even the same house as the one in the first film. What gives? The acting here is a dog too, as the dialogue is too awful to deliver. Subtle laughter is funny, but the comedy here is crammed down your throat, although I imagine some people dug it, the constant attempts to make me laugh weren't always appreciated. The only great thing about this movie is John Ratzenberger (the guy from every Pixar movie..he was in some TV show too), who has an all too brief cameo as a handyman caught in the fray.

I'm not going to bore you with many more details. The fact is that this movie is like a kid's introduction to horror. It has furry, fuzzy pets, an emphasis on family values, and lots of terrible humor. It's not scary, and the right people could be entertained. I found the whole thing to be bizarre and a step in the wrong direction for a series that showed decent potential.
Video / Audio
Video comes in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and looks great considering how old it is and how cheap the movie was to make.

Mono takes the audio cake here too, although it isn't so hot. Bland stuff, what do you expect from mono?
The Extras
House II's commentary track features producer Sean S. Cunningham and writer/director Ethan Wiley, and is not that great. The guys are phoning it in here, although there is a fair amount of information conveyed. Still though, not a great track.

Only other thing here is the trailer.
Last Call
House II was given away free with copies of House for a fair amount of time when the film was released on DVD years ago. I now understand why. If this was the first film, I doubt the second one would have been made at all. It is watchable, but ultimately quite tame and more bizarre than anything else. I didn't really enjoy it, although you may think differently.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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