'Houses Of Hell - 4 Movies' [2-DVD]
(Jeffrey Combs, Dean Stockwell, Charisma Carpenter, Corin Nemec, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: As seen on The Syfy Channel, 'Houses Of Hell' is a collection of 4 new horror films!
DVD Verdict: 'The Dunwich Horror' (Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Dean Stockwell, Sarah Lieving, Griff Furst) - An adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's works, 'Dunwich Horror' tells the story of Wilbur Whateley (Jeffery Combs of Re-Animator, The Frighteners) and his sinister quest to procure a copy of the Necronomicon; an ancient, diabolical manuscript that will help him open a doorway to a dimension inhabited by unspeakable creatures known as the 'Old Ones'.
The writings of the great H.P. Lovecraft have lead to some truly great films, but unfortunately his stories aren't always enough to carry a film through, and despite the fact that this film features all the elements of a successful Lovecraft adaptation, 'The Dunwich Horror' is a sadly lackluster movie.
However, it has to be said that the film does look very nice for a low rent early seventies production, the cinematography is surprisingly crisp and the locations look good; but this isn't matched by the story.
A story which is always intriguing but director Daniel Haller lets the suspense build and build and then makes the cardinal blunder of not giving his audience a worthwhile payoff at the end.
'House of Bones' (Starring: Charisma Carpenter, Corin Nemec, Ricky Wayne) - A group of ghost hunters from a nationally syndicated TV show arrive for their latest assignment the mysterious "Wicker House" in New Orleans which has been the site of some of the grisliest murders in history.
While the house has remained uninhabited since the 1950's, locals know to stay away. Will they make it out alive or will this be the last and greatest episode of their ghostly TV series?
This is an interesting take on the haunted house motif. Here the house "lives" off the bodies of its victims. Unfortunately this house doesn't take many victims on its own and when it does, its doesn't do as much as it could with them.
For example, when a couple of bodies are disposed of within the house, there's an off-screen crunching sound and signs that the house is growing stronger from the nourishment, but these scenes are not that creepy.
Also there are a couple of scenes that are entirely pointless and make little sense overall including a black shadow that roams around in a couple of scenes and tries to look scary but ultimately doesn't do anything.
However, the film does excel in showing how the house distracts and separates the group even after the protagonists tell themselves not to split up when searching the house. Also, I'm glad to finally see a movie that realizes that eye trauma does not necessarily equate to death!
'Mask Maker' (Starring: Nikki Deloach, Stephen Colletti, Treat Williams) - A lucky couple hits the jackpot when they purchase a 19th century plantation home for pennies on the dollar. Determined to get rich quick, they invite their friends up for the weekend to celebrate their good fortune.
It's quickly apparent that the plantation home's former residents have not left and the unlucky youths suddenly find themselves running for their lives!
What if your dream turned out to be a nightmare? After Jennifer's (Deloach) boyfriend Evan (Colletti) surprises her with a new house for her birthday strange things begin to happen.
In truth, this is a hard movie to review. It is not that bad, but it drags - a lot. It's another haunted house because of something buried in the land movie that is not that bad, but it would have been a good "Fangoria Series" movie at an hour long; trying to stretch it out for an hour and a half really hurt the movie.
If you are looking for a decent horror movie that is a cross between suspense and a slasher, this is a good choice. If you are looking for a very scary movie then I would go for something else. Not terrible, not great. That said, the ending is GREAT!
'American Horror House' (Starring: Morgan Fairchild, Allesandra Torresani, Ashton Leigh) - Three students strive to be initiated into a sorority on Halloween night. However, they soon realize that they must fight for their lives from ghosts that have invaded and the housemother that has embarked upon a killing spree.
In truth, there is some decent gore on shoe here, both in quality and amount. Meaning that there is a fair bit of it and it doesn't look cheap!
Some of the death scenes (although maybe there were too many because the horror elements outside of them suffered) are inventive and have an appropriate stomach-churning effect. The one with the saw stood out, while the other standout scene was when the sisters dressed as Sweet Alice Sweet.
Morgan Fairchild. Well, she still looks totally amazing! Furthermore, she actually looks younger than she really is! She is also rather chilling as her character and seems to be having a great time = by far the best performance of the movie! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'Houses Of Hell - 4 Movies' [2-DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.