A mysterious group known as “The Twelve” makes war with the Grigori…fallen angels who walk the earth. House of Fallen is loosely based on the Book of Enoch.
It’s Friday night and I have to work early in the morning. The kids are asleep early (at least settled down) and I am in the mood to watch a horror film (actually, I’m like that most the time). I want to be kept on the edge of my seat. So, I decide to throw on “House of Fallen”, thinking this will be just what the doctor ordered, instead I just feel kind of dumb. In “House of Fallen”, people talk. Then they talk again, and when things start to build up, they talk some more. I’m actually having a hard time trying to focus since my eyes just will not stop rolling in their sockets. The story itself was rather interesting, the execution was less than stellar. In fact, I think it was a mess.
The film tells three intertwining tales, one of a former priest who is questioning his faith (played by 80’s icon C. Thomas Howell) while investigating a possible demonic possession. The second tale is that of a group of thieves trapped in a house after a job. After one of them dies and their money disappears, they realize things just aren’t what they seem. The third tale follows that of the mysterious man named Rowland (Corbin Bernsen) who has all the answers and tries to explain everything to a mortal man.
The film is loosely based around the “Book of Enoch” which is something that I am pretty unfamiliar with. So in case the rest of the audience knew as little as I, quotes from the book appear quite frequently throughout the film. This really doesn’t help much to understanding what is going on. While all three stories have interesting setups, the execution felt rather amateurish and uneventful. The dialogue is designed to help with the understanding but there is just so much of it. I love dialogue driven films, sadly, this one made me cringe with how bad some of it really was. With the three tales being intertwined, editing choices are of the utmost importance to keep you invested in the story as a whole. The points where the stories cut were not exactly the best choices. I wasn’t into the movie at all, then when I was, the most awkward cut comes along and losses me. With a little retooling, maybe they could have fixed this issue and just told the three stories separately.
I didn’t have much issue with any of the acting. Everyone did their best with what they were given. I’m sure C. Thomas Howell and Corbin Bernsen will walk away from this with their reputations intact. Some of the others may never be seen again. I hope I’m wrong but I just strongly feel this film was not good. And poor Jeff Wincott, who I was a huge fan of during the early 90’s when he was doing DTV action film, shows up near the conclusion with his black nail polish. Not a good look for him.
There are some nice ideas, like the Grigori (fallen angels ready to end mankind) and the twelve humans who are chosen to stop them. We never see any of this in action, though there is a whole lot of talking about it. Everything is explained to us in exhausting detail. Boring!!! Sorry guys, I’m thinking there was a reason why this three year old film is just now seeing the light of day. Written and directed by Robert Stephens, “House of Fallen” is just plain dull and Mr. Stephens is to blame. Hopefully he can learn from his mistakes here, turn it around and show everyone that he’s a passionate a filmmaker with talent. So don’t give up and try again. “House of Fallen” is not a fun movie to sit through. With a running time of just over an hour and a half, it felt so much longer. I don’t recommend watching this film, just walk away from it.
House of Fallen (2008)