Review: ‘House II – The Second Story’

This house isn't worth a visit. What passes for a plot has Arye Gross move into the house in which his parents were murdered 25 years earlier. He hears about the existence of a skull filled with jewelry, supposedly buried with the body of one of his ancestors, so he and entrepreneur pal Jonathan Stark exhume the 170-year-old corpse, played by Royal Dano, unrecognizable under disfiguring makeup.

This house isn’t worth a visit. What passes for a plot has Arye Gross move into the house in which his parents were murdered 25 years earlier. He hears about the existence of a skull filled with jewelry, supposedly buried with the body of one of his ancestors, so he and entrepreneur pal Jonathan Stark exhume the 170-year-old corpse, played by Royal Dano, unrecognizable under disfiguring makeup.

The oldtimer wants to have fun now that he’s alive again, but an evil spirit wants that skull, and soon the trio are transported through the walls of the house into another world – a primeval jungle – to do battle.

Director Ethan Wiley is determined to be cute rather than scary. He intros some cuddly creatures – a baby pterodactyl, plus a critter who’s a cross between a dog and a caterpillar – but they don’t add anything to the pic’s charm. Action scenes aren’t very thrilling or suspenseful.

House II - The Second Story

Production

New World. Dir Ethan Wiley; Producer Sean S. Cunningham; Screenplay Ethan Wiley; Camera Mac Ahlberg; Editor Marty Nicholson; Music Harry Manfredini Art Dir Gregg Fonseca

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Arye Gross Jonathan Stark Royal Dano Bill Maher John Ratzenberger Amy Yasbeck
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