- Movie Rating -

House II: The Second Story (1987)

| August 28, 1987

I actually kind of liked the first House movie.  It was kooky and unsettling in a very enjoyable and trashy way.  So, with that, I can say that just about the only enjoyable thing about the sequel is that its not really a sequel.  Rather it anthologizes the title and sets off on a venture all its own.  I liked that about it.

What I didn’t like the approach.  At least the first movie grafted a horror story onto a comedy that was potently weird and funny at the same time.  With II, writer-director Ethan Wiley goes for laughs but forget to make it scary.  It’s a PG-13 horror comedy in every sense of the words.

The story here has a yuppie couple moving into an old family manor.  The girlfriend (Lar-Park Lincoln) is a very Importantly J. Bisnissperson who flits off to her important job while boyfriend Jesse stays home getting cozy with the old family manor and hanging with his buddy Charlie (Jonathan Stark).  Some plot noise is rattled around about an ancient Aztec skull buried on the property that is suppose to be magical.  Inso-doing he reanimates the corpse of his great-great-great-great grandfather (Royal Dano) who is an old codger with the spirit and energy of Gabby Hayes who is unfortunately crumbling and decaying because the power of the skull has failed to keep his skin and bones intact.

To be honest, it all wears a bit thin.  I would have been happy with just the story of two guys trying to keep Gramps intact as he marches his way through modern-day California.  But no, the movie winds down to a fight to the finish with a stock-standard villain.  What starts as an interesting idea and a fun performance by classic western actor Dano doesn’t live up to its first half.  The movie, like Gramps, starts to wither and decay and that’s too bad.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy, Horror