Roger Cobb (William Katt) is a Vietnam vet whose career as a horror novelist has taken a turn for the worse when his son Jimmy mysteriously disappears while visiting his aunt’s house. Roger’s search for Jimmy destroys his marriage and his writing career. The sudden death of his aunt brings Roger back to the house where his nightmares began. The evil zombies in the house force Roger to endure a harrowing journey into his past
Roger Cobb is quite a well known author. He is recognized for his horror novels pretty much where ever he goes. Though things have been hard as of late for Roger who recently lost his son in a mysterious incident. As a child, Roger used to visit his aunt’s house quite regularly. In the film start, his aunt (Susan French) commits an unexplained suicide leaving the house to Roger.
Per flashbacks we quickly learn that Roger’s son went missing while visiting his aunt’s house and disappeared right before his eyes. Things have been estranged with his actress wife Sandy Sinclair (Kay Lenz) since the disappearance. Roger continues his quest for his son, with the pressure of a new novel delivery on his back. Coming from a background where he spent a few hard years in Vietnam, Roger feels the need to write about his experiences. Call it a healing or just getting the incidents off his mind, Roger is determined to complete this novel before taking on another horror fiction project.
When Roger returns to his aunt’s house to finish up with market listing, he decides not sell in order to further investigate. He also requires complete solitude to concentrate on his writing.
Nosey next door neighbor Harold Gorton (George Wendt) begins to cause Roger a bit of grief with his constant prying. Though, the 2 of them soon become involved in the mysteries that the house has in store for them revealing an underworld that appears at midnight every night.
Calling it haunted is probably an understatement, as the house seems to portal between the underworld and the fantastical at will. This has created a mess for Roger who has to deal with odd demons, closet creatures and inner world experiences.
Though, one question….What’s with that swanky V-kneck sweater??
The movie features the additional talent of actor Richard Moll who returns from beyond as a zombie solider left for capture during the Vietnam war. Roger has never gotten over this, creating a nightmare he can’t seem to escape. Actor George Wendt brings a great comical inclusion that compliments Katt’s performance perfectly.
Actor William Katt at the time was becoming well known for his “Greatest American Hero” TV series that completed its final year the year this production was shot. Katt brings a quirky comedic style that contributes perfectly to this 1986 horror film. “House” in many ways embodies much of the style from this era that often catered to films of campy but interesting origin. Directed by Steve Miner, “House” is a project that incorporated the great writing stylings of Fred Dekker. Miner was somewhat of a wiz himself with several horror films credited to his name. “House” received a moderate amount of commercial success making it an iconic horror film for that year.
“House” while typical of the 80’s horror products, had developed into somewhat of a cult film itself over the years. The film went on to make an additional 3 sequels never matching the original in popularity. In fact its sequels flew “so” under the radar that many were never seen or available for rental. “House” reports alot of “continuity” issues that appear to be well documented for film goers. It in some ways provides an additional source of entertainment for those who like that kind of stuff.
Fans of 80’s horror will ultimately love this film. It is one of the more noted releases that takes a lighter tone to horror with all sort of loony directions. It’s no wonder that the film went on to sequels, though it suffers from the loss of its key actors which didn’t return to the next film. Oddly enough Katt is reported as retuning to his role as Roger Cobb in the 4th film titled “House IV” (Home deadly Home). Later releases combined some of the sequels into a single DVD release. This would be MY preference…….now if they could just get all 4 under one roof…it might be complete.