"House IV" is the worst movie of the series. **SPOILERS** Kelly Cobb (Tracy Treas) and her husband Roger (William Katt) are deciding what to do with their old house, and Roger's brother Burke (Scott Burkholder) is trying to buy it out, which he is unsuccessful in doing. Their Native American neighbor Ezra (Ned Romero) has a secret artifact buried in the basement, that Roger's father knew and promised to keep it intact. During a trip, they get into an accident, killing Roger and injuring their daughter Laurel, (Melissa Clayton) reducing her to being in a wheelchair. Going back to the house, Kelly and Laurel decide to adopt it as a home, like Roger wanted. Her father disapproves of the move, but Kelly and Laurel try to make the most of it. Laurel suggests having a Halloween party, as weird things begin happening around the house. The new housekeeper her father ordered, Verna Klump, (Denny Dillion) seems to think Kelly's crazy for living in the house, and after some restless nights, Kelly has still not accepted his death. Burke is trying to get the house away, and is still unsuccessful, forcing her to think about him more and her to consider not to sell. When even more strange things happen around the house, Kelly is forced to believe her worst nightmares have come true and has targeted her and Laurel. The Good News: The main thing with this movie is that house's design. It's a large, creepy house, with the perfect design for creepy goings-on. It's got the requisite two level design, a basement, large rooms, and an odd looking face when viewed front on. It's not as creepy as the house in Amityville, but it serves the purpose nicely. For this being a haunted house story, there are the usual things that aren't right or shouldn't be doing that. One of the best ones is the recurring gag of the water faucets spewing forth a sludge rather than water. It's a great visual jump the first time around, as it appears out of nowhere, then it happens again and gets us shocked. There were some other good gags in here, like a hand rising out of a pile of fallen ashes, or seeing Roger's face from the toppings on a pizza. Others are a bit more shocking. Easily the best one is the shower switching from water to blood without her knowing, and she becomes covered in blood searching around the room, and finds a threatening message written in the steam on the mirror. Even her few dreams are pretty creepy, and one provides the film's biggest shock. The Bad News: This is far more of a talker film than most people may be accustomed to. There are no big set pieces until very late in the movie, and even then, they aren't very spectacular. What's even weirder is that most of them aren't in the least bit scary. It just takes way too long to get anything going, and when something does happen, it is usually just a split second image of something freaky, then it all goes back to normal. At times, it can feel like a drama more than a horror film, and that is its main problem. It feels too much like a dramatic-horror film than a straightforward horror film. Way too much time is spent on Kelly trying to mourn Roger's death and the drama of life after the death of a main family member than it does with giving the house a genuine sense of dread. It's not that the house isn't scary, it's just there's no suspense in the buildup. Stuff just happens and then it's like the supernatural aspects of the film go right out the window. The Final Verdict: It focuses more on drama than horror, and with some scarier haunted house gags, this might be a little bit more remembered. As it stands, this is a film that will appeal more to those that don't like a lot of shocks or suspense in their films. Its heavy-handed drama will put off those that love action-packed films, who will exercise extreme caution here. Rated R: Language, Violence and Brief Nudity
Roger Cobb (William Katt) is killed in a car accident. His family must move into the house that has haunted him for several years. Soon the family begins to experience scary and unexplained phenomena.
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April 4, 2019