Usually I don’t like reviewing a sequel without reviewing the other parts of the movie series. But this time I make an exception just because this isn’t an actual sequel. House is a horror/comedy franchise from the 1980’s. I like House a lot but I didn’t like House 2 that much. That’s because the tone was so different, the film feels more like a comedy than a horror/comedy. But anyway, House 3 actually isn’t the third movie in the House franchise. The original title of this movie is The Horror Show. But due to the big success of the first two House movies in Europe, this movie was released in Europe as House 3. This of course to cash-in on the success of House 1 & 2. So House 4 is actually House 3. As far as I know House 4 is even called House 4 in the U.S.. So that makes it even more confusing over there. But in the 80’s and 90’s this was very common. A lot of movies got different titles in Europe than they did in the U.S.. But still I think it is kind of strange that the DVD release of The Horror Show is still called House 3. On the front cover it actually says The Horror Show as a tag line. So I think they must of known this isn’t actually House 3, haha.
The only thing I knew about this movie before watching it was that it wasn’t the third House movie. But still I wasn’t keen on watching it just because I didn’t like House 2 to much. But I decided to watch it anyway and to my surprise I found out that Lance Henriksen plays the main character. I will be attending Amsterdam Comic Con in a couple of weeks and Lance Henriksen will be one of the guests there. So it’s quite nice to see another movie of him that I haven’t seen before. But now on to the movie itself.
The movie is about detective Lucas McCarthy (Lance Henriksen) who keeps being haunted by nightmares about a serial killer named Max Jenke (Brion James). But Jenke gets captured and sentenced to death. Detective Lucas gladly goes to watch Jenke get fried in the electric chair. But Jenke doesn’t die as fast as he should in the electric chair. And during the execution Jenke swears vengeance on detective Lucas from beyond the grave. After this Lucas keeps having these weird and horrifying day dreams which involve Jenke. Also people are getting killed. Jenke is back from the dead and now it is up to Lucas to stop him once and for all.
I don’t know how this movie could be called House 3 anyway. The tone of this movie is way more serious than House 1 & 2 and is also way more violent. I know I shouldn’t compare this film to House 1 & 2 (I haven’t seen House 4 yet). I actually think this was a very awesome movie. I was actually surprised how much I liked it, somehow I didn’t expect much of it. My judgment actually got a bit clouded by House 2 I guess. Kind of stupid actually what a title can do to your opinion when you don’t know nothing about the film. But like I was saying this movie is quite gory. This DVD is the uncut version which runs 95 minutes. I read that there actually were more gore scenes filmed. But they unfortunately have never been released. I hope that someday a full uncut version will be released.
The special effects are very well done, and it seems the movie had quite a budget (for a horror movie). Also the performance of Lance Henriksen and Brion James are excellent. I also love Brion James he is this typical bad guy. You just hate his guts, and that makes it just all the better.
The DVD I have is a Dutch version released by Afilm. The picture and sound quality are just great. My only complained about this DVD is that it doesn’t have any extras. Not even a trailer or just some stills. But I do recommend this DVD, So if you haven’t seen House 1 or 2 you can still pick this up. If you have seen House 1 & 2 and you want to watch the next sequel, watch House 4.