House of the Dead Movie Review
Horror takes on new meaning with House of the Dead, an absolutely stunning example of just how bad a movie can be. A good example of how video game adaptations can go wrong, this one even has the nerve to throw in screenshots of the game!
The plot of this "movie" is that a group of good-looking college students travel to an island in the San Juan's, north of Seattle (some websites claim that this movie is based in Florida, but since one of the characters remarks that the water is cold and another says both "Seattle" and "San Juan Islands," I think it is safe to assume that this movie is indeed set in Washington State). On the island, the biggest rave of the year is taking place in the middle of the woods (okay...), except, by the time they get there, the party has been destroyed, everyone has disappeared and the island has been taken over by zombies. The rest of the story doesn't really matter, because there really isn't any - in fact, if you can sit and watch the entire film without fast forwarding, you deserve a prize.
There is very few good things about this piece of trash - actually, only two multiplied by the number of girls that are naked in the first fifteen minutes. That's nice. Unfortunately, most of the hot women get killed. Fortunately, it helps avoid listening to them attempting to act.
The acting in House of the Dead is absolutely terrible; half the time it sounds as though someone's voice has been dubbed over these American "actors." Sure, the screenplay is almost nonexistent, but these actors somehow make it sound even worse. Again, the women are still fun to look at; at least, as long as they are alive.
The acting and dialogue is a problem, but when it comes to a horror movie, those are not necessarily essentials to making a thrilling picture. The real problem lies in the director of this low-budget film; every chance Uwe Boll gets to make this movie less scary, he goes for it. In fact, this movie plays more like a bad cartoon than a horror movie; the zombies are no more than goofy ghouls from "Scooby Doo." The sword fight scene at the end between two of the main characters and the main bad guy is one of the worst things ever captured on film. Boll's choppy editing and inability to show a single gruesome death scene (if the movie is rated R, go crazy with the blood!) make House of the Dead one of the most laughable horror movies ever made. What is most frightening is that somehow managed to get the job directing 2004's Alone in the Dark, another low-budget video game adaptation.
The worst mistake Boll makes (I hate using the word "worst" so many times in a single review, but it is a necessity here) is that he splices in some clips of the actual video game. They have nothing to do with anything, and the biggest mistake any movie can make is reminding the audience that it is based on a video game. Showing the video game in the actual movie is absolutely unacceptable.
House of the Dead has nothing going for it, except for a few boobs in the beginning. Director Boll has managed to take a mindless zombie movie and turn it into a mindless zombie movie that not only isn't scary, but is also so bad that it is almost humorous. This one should have stayed in the house.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.