• Dark House (2010)

    I am not a huge fan of rating horror movies.  Certain topics are scarier to some people than others, and certain situations (e.g. daytime/night time/crowded room/alone) can increase or decrease the scariness.  "Orphan" for example scared the crap out of some of my friends who think "The Grudge" is the dumbest movie ever; and that is the complete opposite for me.  Dark House is one of those low budget films for the Fangoria Frightfest, and because of this, it is difficult to compare it to the high budget horror movies most people are used to.   

    The storyline is pretty simple, but still really interesting.  A class of acting students are offered a job to work for the self proclaimed "King of Horror" who builds haunted houses and theme parks around the country.  He buys out an abandoned orphanage in the suburbs of a small town where a mass murder took place, and sets it up as a haunted house with all sorts of special effects built in for hologram monsters and such.  I am not sure what year this movie takes place in, but the operating system used for these special effects looks like it came from the early 70's, while the effects themselves look like they are from 20 years in the future.  Anyhow, a ghost virus is let loose and the hologram monsters come to life.

    There are some huge twists in this movie that my short description doesn't really cover, and that really set it apart.  Usually horror movies are known for their twists, but they are for the most part corny and feel tacked on.  Dark House manages to pull off it's twist beautifully, and maintain its creepy atmosphere at the same time.

    For the budget it was built on, this movie doesn't disappoint.  It wasn't too scary, some of the monsters are almost comical looking, but I think if certain factors are met (with friends, at night), then the movie would be a great choice for a Halloween marathon.

    Dark House gets 3/5 for being the grown-up version of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?".


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