Traumafessions :: Reader Jodi on House (1986)

Being a kid is both wonderful and crappy, because, whether it’s horror movies or Santa Claus, kids invest way too much emotion into a lot of smoke and mirrors!

A few days ago, my husband coaxed me into finally watching a movie that, in my youth, I had never been able to sit through. The film came out when I was in 2nd grade, and going by the advertisement (the gnarly severed hand ringing the doorbell over the tag line “Ding Dong, You’re Dead”) along with the scariest looking witch I’d ever seen, I was certain that it had to be the most terrifying horror movie ever made. That movie is 1986’s HOUSE starring WILLIAM “believe it or not, I’m walking on air” KATT as a recently divorced writer who inherits the mind-f*cking house in which his crazy Aunt hung herself. And believe it or not, hilarity ensues!

Growing up, I thought the movie was simply about a guy in a house full of ghouls trying to kill him. Every time I came upon it on any film channel, once the witch showed up, :::click!::: I’m out! For a 7-year-old, that bitch was scary! After doing a search, I was surprised that Kindertrauma didn’t seem to have much of anything on the film. And when I finally sat down to watch the entire thing; I just knew I was in for an intensely frightening gore fest.

Is there a contest for the most misleading poster EVER? Because I think I found the winner. Damn that corpsy hand! I’m not saying it was a bad movie (flawed script, but otherwise awesome), I’m just a little pissed off I was freaked out for 25 years by a creepy drawing and a dude in a rubber witch suit.


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11 years ago

When I watched this, it reminded me of something Poe would’ve have written…if he had been a hack screenwriter in the ’80s.
However, this had George Wendt in it, and I was disappointed he WASN’T eating beans. So much for that mall survey…

11 years ago

I too have a funny story about House. 

When I was a little girl, my parents often went to a friends house in the woods and watched scary movies.  I usually paid no attention to the screen, but for some reason, I watched House.  This triggered a months long skeleton phobia.  Even paper skeletons were too scary for me back then. 

Fast forward to about 13, when I first started renting horror films for myself.  The first thing I rented was House, remembering how “scary” it was.  My mother still picks on the look on my face after rewatching it, and the fact that I whined “It was a COMEDY?”

11 years ago

Growing up I had a friend who’s parents would let him watch whatever he wanted. I would go over to his house and he would be watching some gory slasher movie or Italian zombie film. One time when I went over he was watching House. It was the scene with the lady in lavender who turns into that she demon.  I got so scared I made my excuses and left his house quick. I ran all the way home paranoid that the she demon was going to get me

11 years ago

This has always been one of the films that pops into mind once I’ve completed my lists of whatever films it might fit nicely into; Horror, Horromedy (Comorror? Hmm.), 80’s, Throaty Sex Bombs, Why I’m Like This, etc.
It was a cable staple I watched every time I caught it, I have only fond recollections and yet… it didn’t stick like sooo many others. I blame the Kay-Beast. Every time it appeared I’d get squirmy. Perhaps she dug so deep into the recesses that I felt it safer to leave her in the dark. I mean, she was kinda like the Bill Paxton Poo Pile of WEIRD SCIENCE but evil and mobile!

Luxe Lemon
10 years ago

Just watched this last night, 2 weeks after watching “The Skeptic” (2009). Lots of similarities, to the point I wonder if one B-horror inspired the other. Ornate Victorian house, opening scene of someone random discovering a dead body within house, possibly crazy old aunt obsessed with the haunting, nephew inherits house (where he once lived) and immediately leaves his wife to move in, missing/ignored young son, heavy male friend (famous for a sitcom) providing “comic” relief, main character may be going crazy, or may be haunted by his past, and of course, the scary closet. So The Skeptic didn’t have quite as many foam rubber suits, but the similarities are still there.