Every neighborhood has that one house all the kids assume is haunted. On our street it's actually my place, I guess due to all the young girls who supposedly disappeared here even though they never proved anything. The house with the bad kid rep in this movie is really just a foster home, but when one little girl goes inside on a dare she finds a bunch of murdered children, so props to their intuition because if it wasn't haunted before, you better believe it is now.
|Still missing. If you have any information, keep your mouth shut.|
Time passes, and now our main girl is all grown up and looking to become an actress, I guess because "fairy princess" was far too realistic a goal for her. As it turns out, the rest of the clowns this movie is priming for the slaughter are aspiring actors too, and we're introduced to them in the laziest, most ham-fisted way possible when they do an on-stage "exercise" that allows them to delineate all of their quirks and interpersonal drama without actually needing to do anything. Seriously, this is what passes for "characterization" in this movie. And besides being lazy it's a complete waste of time, since almost all of them have the exact same personality ("asshole"), and they never interact in any meaningful way anyhow.
|(L-R) Asshole, asshole, asshole, asshole, I love her, asshole|
Of course this movie isn't (only) about how much the writer should be flogged with his own dick, so in short order our cast of cretins falls bass-ackwards into a gig playing ghouls at the former massacre house, now a state-of-the-art haunted house attraction where the ghosts and monsters are all holograms, which cleverly excuses most of the dodgy cartoon effects (you win this round, Dark House). Of course the holograms are quickly possessed by the particularly computer-savvy ghost, all the horror set-pieces come to life, and ultimately we're watching a lamer version of Waxwork. There is some decent gore, someone name-drops Mark of the Devil, a redheaded reporter does a nice job of filling out some capris (as the only male on Earth who thinks capris are sexy, I heartily approve), and we see a stunning little goth chick in her underwear. (The goth chick is definitely the highlight of the movie - not only does she look like Janeane Garafalo's vaguely irritated daughter, but she dies like a champ, snarking wise to the last with a completely blasé look on her face. Beats flailing around, screaming like some girl.) On the negative hand: moronic fuck-shit lines like "Holograms are triggered by fear." (no, idiot, you're thinking of dogs), and the fact that they take great pains to establish one chick as a lesbian, after which she eats exactly zero pussies. That Chekhov's gun guy is probably rolling over in his grave.
|As an aside, I see that Herbert West, who plays the owner of the haunted|
attraction, has finally completed his transformation into Dennis Hopper.
For an in-depth look at haunted house movies, check out my book Legendary House of Haunted Hell, on sale here.