Detective Lucas McCarthy finally apprehends "Meat Cleaver Max" and watches the electric chair execution from the audience. But killing Max Jenke only elevated him to another level of ... See full summary »
Jesse moves to his biological parents' house with his girlfriend Kate and soon he hosts his friend Charlie with his girlfriend. Jesse reads old documents and decides to go to the local cemetery with Charlie to unbury his grand grand grandfather to seek out an ancient powerful Aztec skull. They reanimate Gramps that soon befriends Jesse and Charlie. But demons cross gateways in the house to retrieve the magic skull and Jesse and Charlie need to go to other dimensions to retrieve the skull and keep Gramps alive.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Jesse is in the kitchen trying to get the skull from the bird's mouth, you can briefly see the puppeteer operating the bird in the lower right corner of the screen. See more »
[laughs at Jessie]
I think she likes you.
Come on, Charlie.
[Turns to Virgin]
Who do you like better: me or him? Me: Charlie, crazy, yet fun, huh, or him.
[Jessie throws a food at Charlie's face]
I rest my case.
[Virin throws something at Charlie]
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The Swedish VHS release is cut in the scene where Slim gets his head blown off. See more »
The enjoyable parts prevent this from being a truly bad film, but only just. The original "House" probably never made anyone's list of top horror movies, but it's entertaining in its own, modest way. I can't say the same for "House II." Nor can I honestly say it's a sequel. It doesn't feature any of the characters from the original. It's also a completely different house. The house in "House" was built on a weak spot between our world and the world of the dead, while the house in "House II" was built at the crossroads of time and space. This is, I believe, an important distinction. There doesn't seem to be any reason for calling this "House II," except to justify the clever subtitle.
But that's not the only problem. The filmmakers clearly didn't know what kind of film they wanted to make, and the result is a jumbled mess. It starts off promising, and is shaping up to be a good haunted-house horror film when it suddenly and inexplicably becomes a fantasy-adventure comedy, during which time the ghost that the movie once seemed to be centered around is never seen and hardly mentioned. Then, after the viewer has adjusted to the new premise, the ghost comes back, and none of the threads brought up during the middle part are properly resolved. It's all pushed aside for a dramatic dénouement, followed by a final scene that raises further questions rather than answering any of the many existing ones.
I should also add that this movie contains several insults to the viewer's intelligence, which I wouldn't excuse even if it were an out-and-out comedy. In one scene, our hero falls hundreds of feet, but falls into a portal that lets him out right above the floor in his own house. The problem is that his momentum shouldn't change, so he should still be dead. In another scene, a zombie is strangled until he loses consciousness. Just think about that one for a moment.
So why did I give this an average review? Because there are good points. It's original, for starters. It may be hugely disjointed with little internal logic, but at least it isn't just retreading old clichés. It features characters who you care about, because they're fairly believable and interesting. It boasts special effects that are well above par for 1987, and some visually intriguing scenes and designs. The humor, as misplaced as it may be at times, is often quite funny. And, above all, there is John Ratzenberger as "Bill Towner, electrician and adventurer." The part with him is just great, not just because of his performance, but the way his character is written, and the sequence's juxtaposition of the banal and the otherworldly. Sadly, he's only in that one scene. If the movie had begun and ended with him, it could have been an '80s fantasy comedy classic (but still wouldn't really be a sequel to "House"). Actually, there are at least three different movies in here, all of which could have been good if they hadn't been thrown together to form a single, unfocused movie.
"House II" isn't a winner, nor is it a complete waste of time. Watch it if the things I've described have piqued your curiosity, but don't expect it to be too entertaining overall.
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