Saturday, September 24, 2011

Movie Review: House of the Dead

 Hollywood has run out of ideas.  This is the only thing scary about House of the Dead.

 I have enjoyed playing the video-game when and where I would find the stand-up arcade version, but was never such a fan of it as to own the home version.  The game is based on a fairly simple concept; something bad is making monsters out of what were otherwise perfectly good corpses, so if it moves, shoot it.  Maybe interject a plot here and there (THEY'VE GOT MY SISTER!) and you have something that will consume many quarters from your pocket and hours from your life.  

 This movie seems to follow on the coat-tails of Resident Evil, another movie based on a video-game.  Resident Evil rocked, plain and simple.  I am a fan of the entire Resident Evil film franchise, even NemisisDoom was also a very well-done movie based on the classic video-game. 

 House of the Dead is simply awful. 

 The plot begins with a group of tweens who are headed to the "rave of the century" on some island in the Pacific.  They miss their ferry and catch a ride with a local, grizzled fisherman who takes them to the island for the tidy sum of $1000.  The grizzled fisherman warns them that the island has a foreboding reputation (DOOM!), which the kids blithely ignore.

 Arriving on the island, thy find what appears to be the remnants of the rave, a few tents and a stage, completely deserted with the only evidence of a previous human presence being some garbage and blood.

 Now, here is where many horror films, including this one, go terribly wrong.  You and your friends arrive on the scene to find everything abandoned and blood everywhere.  In the real world, you would get back on the boat, go back to the mainland and party at a local club, and maybe call the cops.  In movie world, you and your friends become the Mystery Inc. gang short one Scoobey Doo, and investigate.

 Not freaking likely.

 The acting is simply awful, and the plot meanders from flash-backs as the tweens piece together what happened, nude-scenes (not worth it), zombie encounters, and the introduction/demise of a number of auxiliary characters that should have been the focus of the film who actually have some clue as to what might be happening (who, instead of getting the civilians off the island continue on with whatever their mission may be).  Worse, the major fire-fight between the survivors and the hoards of on-coming deadies is inter-spliced with cut-scenes from the video-game.  If you were actually into the film, the cut-scenes effectively disengage you.  

 As if you needed another reminder that you are watching one of the lamest films ever made.

 Stay away from House of the Dead.  Now that I think about it, there is something scarier than Hollywood running out of ideas and producing this lump of dross, they made a sequel.



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