House II: The Second Story (1987)
By: J.R. McNamara on November 22, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Force Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. 84 minutes
The Movie
Director: Ethan Wiley
Starring: Arye Gross, Jonathan Stark, Lar Park Lincoln, Amy Yasbeck
Writer: Ethan Wiley
Tagline: "Doom with a View"
Country: USA
House II engages the idea that you don't need to continue the story when makeing a sequel - obviously lessons taught by Halloween 3: The Season of the Witch weren't learnt by everyone at horror-school! The ignoramus concerned with this film is writer/director Ethan Wiley, who ignored the success of the first film's story, and developed a new tale, seemingly aimed at a young audience.

Jesse (Ayre Gross) is moving into his family home - a family he didn't even know existed, as he was adopted out as a baby soon after his real parents were killed by a mysterious figure. He and his girlfriend, music mogul in training Kate (Lar Park Lincoln) are making themselves at home when his pal Charlie (Jonathon Stark) and his pop-artist wannabe girl Jana (Amy Yasbeck) drop in for a party and a mooch. Jesse is investigating his family's history and discovers an ancestor was a Wild West gunslinger who was buried with an artifact missing from the family home.

Jesse and Charlie go to the local cemetery to dig up the grave of the ancestor to get some of the artifacts, specifically a crystal skull, when his body rises from the grave and introduces himself as 'Gramps' (Royal Dano). Gramps tells of the mystical powers of the crystal skull, and soon evil spirits are trying to steal it from the house. The supernatural happenings cause rooms in the house to change into mysterious time traveling doors, where the friends can travel through, to try and reclaim the skull...

This film proves one thing. First time directors need to be warned that if your special effects team convinces you that 'puppets' are a good idea, they all need to be sacked. None of the puppets were in the slightest bit convincing, and there are so manyof themI sometimes felt like I was enduring a ninety minute episode of Fraggle Rock, although Fraggle Rock never insulted my intelligence like this film.

Some things to note. This being a Sean S. Cunningham production, you can spot a couple of Friday the 13th players: Lar Park Lincoln from Part 7, and the main man himself, Kane Hodder, plays a man in a monkey suit who gets assaulted by a savage and thrown over a balcony railing.
Not the greatest picture in the world. At times grainy, a couple of artifacts and a bit of telecine wobble as well; this film is presented in 1.85:1 with 16:9 enhancement.
House 2 is presented in an OK Dolby 5.1, with an option for 2.0.
Extra Features
Just trailers for House2 and House 4.
The Verdict
In Scream 2, one film student character suggests that House 2 is a great sequel, alongside Terminator 2 and The Godfather Part 2. That character was wrong. Even at 86 minutes, this film is 87 minutes too long. Watch Jumunji instead.
Movie Score
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