Blu-Ray Review: House

The Vietnam War was a nightmarish experience for all involved. Whilst you could write countless books on the horrors endured by the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians, American cinema is more concerned with the impact on the aggressors. Indeed, American soldiers became victims themselves due to the lack of duty of care shown to them by their government and the enmity of their countrymen towards the conflict. This was brilliantly realised in Adrian Lyne’s psychological horror Jacob’s Ladder. In House, Steve Miner mixes in comedy to get his point across.

Roger Cobb (William Katt) is a famous horror author who is struggling to come to terms with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by serving in the Vietnam War. This has been exacerbated by his wife (Kay Lenz) leaving him, his aunt (Susan French) committing suicide, and his son disappearing. With his new book, based on his experience in Vietnam, he hopes to purge those bad memories. However, after moving into his aunt’s home, he starts to experience a number of horrifying events and scarily realistic nightmares.

House is a strange film, but one which works sporadically. Comedy is a good device with which to approach the horrors of war. However, tonally it really does grate at times. The mix of anxiety disorder and humour is a difficult one to maintain. At times, Miner struggles to strike a balance. There’s some impressive creature work and also some cleverly realised scares. In a decade where horror really made its mark, House is a rather strange yet fascinating entry.

Special Features:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
  • Standard Definition Blu-ray presentation
  • Original Mono, Stereo and DTS-HD MA 5.1 Audio Options
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary with director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, actor William Katt and screenwriter Ethan Wiley
  • Ding Dong, You’re Dead! The Making of House – brand new documentary featuring interviews with director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, screenwriter Ethan Wiley, story creator Fred Dekker, stars William Katt, Kay Lenz and George Wendt, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up and creature effects artists Barney Burman, Brian Wade, James Belohovek, Shannon Shea, Kirk Thatcher and Bill Sturgeon, special paintings artists Richard Hescox and William Stout and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder
  • Vintage Making-of
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers, Teaser and TV Spots First Draft Screenplay and Fred Dekker’s original 15-page Twilight Zone-inspired story which served as the basis for House (BD-ROM Content)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

House is released on DVD & Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 11 December.

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