When horror author Samantha
goes missing after renting a strange, castle like house located in the
middle of the desert, her brother and her agent visit the house to try
and find out what happened to her. Little do they know, this is
the hugest mistake of their lives. This home is cursed.
The evil sprits that live here know what you are afraid of and they
know all your secrets. Everything you canít bear to think about will
be used against you. Even if you manage to escape the grounds,
the house can still use your fears to end your life.
Fear House was pretty frustrating
and disappointing. Itís a haunted house tale with a psychological
side, but those two parts just never blended well for me. Right
from the very beginning, there were obvious problems. There were
clues about future revelations that really just seemed like a Full Moon
beginning with none of the charm. It made sense later, but I didnít
care for how it was done just the same. The acting wasnít bad.
Samantha (the horror writer) did seem pretty creepy and slightly insane
with the vacant, careless look and it worked pretty well.
Thereís a really nice special
effect for a ghost type hallucination as well. They werenít
lazy about it. Itís not your typical J-horror long hair in face,
jerky movement creature. Itís sort of marbleized, with subtle
movement and it switches from one female character to another.
I really liked it. The setting was a strong point in the film.
The house is creepy and the lighting works to set the mood. And
I do have to admit that the jumbled feeling I got from the plot does
end once the film gets going, but there is just way too much tossed
in at the beginning. To their credit, they do manage to tie it
up by the end, but thereís still a presentation problem.
The main thing is what the
movie set out to do and how well it was able to accomplish this.
I know it is really difficult to develop a script around a story.
If it were easy, it wouldnít get messed up so often. Really
awful movies donít frustrate me. Movies that have good ideas
that never get realized do this. Fear House was frustrating because
things just never came together in the right wayóthe pacing was off,
the dialogue was ridiculous at times, the plot got mangled and I even
found myself straining to hear people talking over their own footsteps
(although this wasnít a persistent problem).
I am basing my review on a
screener of the film, so itís highly likely that a lot of these issues
can be reduced or even eliminated before the filmís DVD release on
April 1. However, there is still something fundamentally flawed
about the presentation and story development and Iím not sure that
editing can really do much about it. Honestly, the parts were
there, but they were all misplaced.