A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME
- RELEASE DATE: Available Now on DVD (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
- WRITTEN BY: James Kondelik, Jon Kondelik, Victoria Dadi
- DIRECTED BY: Christopher Ray
- STARRING: Gerald Webb, Bill Cobbs, Richard Grieco
– Reviewed by Shane Migliavacca
A really good haunted house story can be some of the most effective horror there is. I mean, you can shoot a zombie, or take out a serial killer with various weapons…but a haunted house? It’s hard to escape ghosts especially if they’re the sort that not just haunts the house but you as well. In the wake of the found footage antics of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY we really don’t get many proper haunted house flicks. Then along comes A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME; a film very much trying to be one of those slow burn haunted house films of years past. The question is how does it do when it comes to the thrills and chills?
We start with Richard Grieco (TV’s Booker!) as a mysterious man covered in blood that screams about wanting his family back as he is engulfed by light. Cut to sometime later as a semi-dysfunctional family comprised of Ben Williams (Gerald Webb), his wife Linda (Diahnna Nicole Baxter), and their two teenage children, Ashley (Aurora Perrineau) and Alex (Melvin Gregg) move into the same house Grieco was in as a way of getting a fresh start. Before you can say “high hopes” freaky crap starts happening; apparitions appear in rooms, creepy dolls move on their own, strange voices are heard, nightmares are had, and there’s a weird table with an appetite for blood…yeah, I don’t know either. Of course all of these goings-on only start to ramp up the tension and stress between Ben and Linda. With nowhere else to turn, they call in a Hoodoo Priest (who resembles good ol’ Snoop D.O.double G!) to drive the evil from their home.
Directed by Christopher Ray (TWO-HEADED SHARK ATTACK, ASTEROID VS EARTH, ALMIGHTY THOR); A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME has a polished look that is impressive for its low budget, although it never managed to rise above the “made for Syfy” aesthetic. Considering the directors track record, maybe that comparison is unavoidable, but it doesn’t necessarily damage the entire production either as the story and effects (a lot of them practical) are a lot o fun.
As for the acting, it’s solid enough (minus one really off performance that I will let you discover for yourself). For me, veteran actor BILL COBBS as the sinister real estate agent was the best part of the film, and while he didn’t have much screen time, he really made it count.
As for special features on this release, you get; a commentary track with cast and crew, a behind the scenes featurette, and some interviews.
A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME is a solid haunted house film. There are a couple really creepy sequences, the pace never lags, and it was a nice seeing the family call in a Hoodoo Priest instead of the standard Catholic Priest or Paranormal Researcher. Bottom line, A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME is an enjoyable Saturday afternoon haunted house film.