I was really looking forward to Dark House. I’m a big fan of the concept of amusement attractions gone wrong – stories like Jurassic Park, West World, House on Haunted Hill. Dark House is the story of an eccentric amusement attraction owner who’s decided to purchase a local house, the scene of a horrific murder years ago, and convert it into a state of the art haunted house, with holographic ghosts and a live cast of actors to scare guests.
As expected…things go horribly, horribly awry and before you know it people are getting hacked up in all sorts of ways. But was this Dark House worth venturing into?
Everyone’s been kind of praising this movie, so I expected a lot of it. Recently released as part of Fangoria’s “Fright Fest” line of direct-to-dvd movies (kind of like Ghost House Underground), I quickly ran out to rent the movie and see how it was. It stars Jeffrey Combs, who’s a personal favorite of mine, and with all of the high marks it was getting, it surely had to be good. Or…not so much.
In Dark House, the terror begins when the ghost of a woman who murdered children years before takes of the state of the art computer system and makes the holographic monsters capable of actually killing people. And yes, it’s as stupid as it sounds. From the moment the ghost pops up on a computer screen (via horrible special effects), the film goes wrong. It’s like Halloween: Resurrection without Busta Rhymes, or any type of quality (save for Jeffrey Combs, who does a pretty solid job, as always).
And I’m being harsh – there are a few good scenes in the film, but all of them are flashbacks. The scenes of the original murder are genuinely suspenseful and creepy. Unfortunately, everything in the present just doesn’t work, which is a shame. I had high hopes for this flick, but it ended up just not being worth the time. This is SyFy Channel fare.