A furiously confusing horror opus that suggests a "Saw" movie scripted by Agatha Christie. Unfortunately, that makes it sound much more interesting than it really is.

Based on a novel co-written by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, best-selling Christian authors who specialize in spiritual warfare and psychological terror, “House” is a furiously confusing horror opus that suggests a “Saw” movie scripted by Agatha Christie. Unfortunately, that makes it sound much more interesting than it really is. Directed by Robby Henson, who fared marginally better with his unremarkable 2007 filmization of Dekker’s “Three,” pic will be consigned to homevid purgatory after a limited theatrical run.

Muddled plot pivots on the plight of two couples — one married, one not — trapped inside a rural Alabama inn operated by oddballs strange enough to creep out the Addams Family. A shotgun-wielding serial killer known as the Tin Man claims to have “killed God” on the premises years earlier, and warns he will commit mass murder if one of the four guests isn’t sacrificed before dawn. As the potential victims struggle to remain alive, they are individually haunted by manifestations of past sins and tortured by long-simmering guilt. Or something like that. Occasionally, the narrative lapses into coherence, but not often enough. Performances and production values are, at best, uneven.

House

Production

A Roadside Attractions release of a Namesake Entertainment production, in association with Circle Media. Produced by Joe Goodman, Bobby Neutz, Ralph Winter. Executive producers, Marek Sledziewski, Wotjek Frychowski. Directed by Robby Henson. Screenplay, Rob Green, based on the novel by Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti.

Crew

Camera (color), Marcin Koszalka; editor, Andrea Bottigliero; music, David E. Russo. Reviewed at Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 24, Houston, Nov. 9, 2008. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Michael Madsen, Allana Bale, J.P. Davis, Reynaldo Rosales, Bill Moseley, Leslie Easterbrook, Julie Ann Emery.
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