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SEAN S. CUNNINGHAM PRESENTS 'HOUSE' STARRING WILLIAM KATT

Foreign Poster art from the Arrow Blu Ray MOVIE YEAR: 1985
One of those comedy/horror flicks that, in 1985, wasn't so "one of those" since, years before, they were either one or the other, unless an intentional satire... But during the last twenty-five years, post SCREAM, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and many others, horror combined with comedy (where death can be funny yet still scary and final) has been commonplace, even cliché, and those movies were most likely inspired by AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and, for people in-the-know, HOUSE...

Wherein William Katt's character, a horror novelist named Roger Cobb, is really more likable and affable than funny or trying for laughs: The perfect ambiguous pawn for what happens in the HOUSE he moves back into, once owned by his "crazy" old aunt, ranging from communication with his actress ex-wife (Kay Lenz) to flirting with a gorgeous blonde neighbor (Mary Stavin) to fighting a mounted marlin to strategically battling a jovial yet nightmarish "witch" monster leading to a formidable humanoid creature resembling  Eddie from the Iron Maiden album covers....

Autographed by William Katt and George Wendt
The best scenes occur within the HOUSE as Cobb and next-door neighbor Harold, played by George Wendt, investigate the two-story interior... for a purpose. By day, Cobb struggles on a non-fiction book that conjures up palpable war memories of his personal experience in what was extremely popular during the 1980's: Vietnam...

HOUSE SCORE: ****1/2
The flashback jungle sequences (featuring giant cult actor Richard Moll) look glossy and contrived, obviously filmed on a back-lot location liken to a TV show (MAGNUM P.I., etc), but the primal direction from Steve Miner is edgy, fun and full of suspense: He was a b-movie student of the film's producer Sean S. Cunningham, who were both catapulted by the original FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise: Sean directing the first while associate producer Miner directed parts two and three. So there's a genuine and spooky, omnipresent feeling we're watching an authentic haunted house flick as opposed to a parody, and the severe main plot has Cobb searching for his son, who'd vanished in the swimming pool a year earlier. Present time and backstory connect within the multi-layered title location with something lurking around every corner; even when nothing's there, it always feels close. Simply put, HOUSE is a movie with everything.
William Katt's Roger Cobb signing one of his popular books before starting to write his war novel
William Katt's Roger Cobb in HOUSE takes a shot at one of the all-time great creatures...
The Witch Lady from HOUSE on the left perhaps paid homage to on THE WALKING DEAD?
Katt's Roger Cobb autographs for one of his popular books to a punk chick fan... Can't find her name though
There's simply nothing cooler looking than the Arrow Blu Ray/DVD color scheme logo: this is a box set to get
One of the paintings on the Aunt's HOUSE wall: a Christ figure speared by a Marlin... had to be there...
title: HOUSE
year: 1986 (archived summary review from 2010)
cast: William Katt, George Wendt, Michael Ensign, Richard Moll, Mary Stavin
director: Steve Miner
rating: ****

William Katt is a horror writer with good reason to not only inhabit a haunted house but to stay: even after gardening tools, formidable monsters, and a mounted marlin tries either killing or scaring him off. Katt's son disappeared in the swimming pool years before, and the house might hold the secret of his existence: all coinciding with traumatic Vietnam flashbacks while writing a serious memoir, and visits from scene stealer George Wendt as a pesky but lovable next door neighbor. This extremely underrated comedy/horror is terrific from start to finish.
Katt also played a "Nam" vet in BIG WEDNESDAY and would return in WHITE GHOST (both w/ Reb Brown)
Richard Moll goads William Katt with chicken calls in a HOUSE Vietnam sequence
William Katt thinks "The Coach" from Southern Comfort wants to arrest him... Now there's a random reference
Mary Stavin HOUSE Mary Stavin William Katt HOUSE William Katt
Mary Stavin approaches neighbor Roger Cobb played by William Katt in HOUSE
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