Sometimes I’d rather just watch something familiar; something I already know I like. I had a hankering for Stigmata recently (only after I realized Netflix took Friday the 13th down); but that’s probably because I chose to rock out to Chumbawamba’s “Mary, Mary” on the way to work. So I ended up watching a new (to me), seemingly shitty movie.
Dark House (2009) starts with three young girls observing and talking about a “creepy” house in their neighborhood. Two things: 1) The three young girls are literally ~7-years-old. This wasn’t your typical opening scene where a handful of restless teens are attempting to break in, dropping F-bombs like there’s no tomorrow. No. Three young girls with pigtails in their hair, riding their bicycles. And 2) The house isn’t creepy at all. It’s a Victorian house, painted in pastels. Victorian houses have the potential to be very creepy… if they’re old and dilapidated, not painted like an Easter egg.
Anyway, you quickly disregard that when one brave girl enters the house and all hell breaks loose. Creepy shit (I’ll let you discover that all on your own).
Fast-forward 14 years. This is when all the really terrible acting (and magic) happens. You’ve got your 21-year-old college girl (the one brave girl from the beginning) who suffers from anxiety attacks from a traumatic childhood experience (with this haunted house–the “Old Darrode House”); you’ve got your goth chick; your hunks; and your snobby blonde. This troop of theater students volunteer to work as actors in the “Old Darrode House,” which is set up as a haunted house. BUT IS IT ALL JUST AN ACT!? Probably not…
Now what really stuck out to me and what I want to give this movie kudos for above all else: the blonde bombshell is not pined for by one of the resident Chads… but instead by a mature woman who worked on the haunted house. At one point in the movie when the young girl and her older admirer are facing certain destruction together, the 20-something asks if they make it out alive, “Does that mean I have to do you?” Admirer says yes. Young blonde agrees. Now here’s a movie that doesn’t fall in line. In fact, the “Chad” likes the odd girl who dresses like a tomboy and has an obviously jaded past.
Anyway, as the situation is set up, you just know terrible things are going to happen. And you know that there’s going to be no way out of the house because… it’s an old Victorian house… and one does not simply break a window to save his or her life. Another thing worth mentioning would be that holograms play a huge part in the kills. Holograms having the ability to kill? Ask science.
This post is getting lengthy. I’m going to close this up by saying that the acting is as terrible as I wanted it to be; and there were two different types of terrible acting in Dark House: 1) the cheesy “I never actually took acting classes but I want to act” type, and 2) the overacting “I have the drive but I’m trying too hard” type. The leading lady was the latter. The wide eyes… the teeth clenched shut… the quivering lower lip as she realizes what is really happening in the haunted “Old Darrode House”… It was just a bit much.