Released 1986

Review by: Fiji Mermaid

Ding Dong… You’re dead!

This movie stars Willam Katt playing horror writer Roger Cobb. Roger’s aunt recently killed herself in her home, where Roger once lived as a boy. Roger comes to the home to help prepare it to sell, but upon inspection of the home he decides to stay there and begin writing his latest novel. The novel he intends to write is a personal memoir of his time in the Vietnam war in which he was forced to leave his wounded friend, Ben, for dead. This detail seems like a detail that wouldn't have anything to do with the story, but in the end it ties in quite nicely. The house holds more than just childhood nostalgia for Roger however, because 3 years earlier his son disappeared while apparently having fallen into the pool. Roger was never able to find his son and his marriage fell apart shortly thereafter.

Roger remembers his aunt telling him about her thoughts regarding how the house is haunted and is very well responsible for his son's disappearance. Although he seemed to dismiss the haunting in the past, staying at the house now he begins to experience and see strange things. He is 100% convinced the house is haunted when he goes into the room where his aunt killed herself and opens the closet just after midnight. A ghostly demon creature with long arms and claws emerges and reaches out and tries to grab him. He then makes an attempt to capture the creature on video to have some form of proof about the house. From this point in the story the house begins to escalate its attacks on Roger in what appears to be either an effort to force him out of the house or to kill him. Roger does battle with all manner of haunted items from axes and pitchforks, to witches and strange goblin kids who make attempt to take a child Roger is babysitting for a woman in the neighborhood. The little goblin kids is a relatively short scene, but one of my favorites of the film, it's just so strange.

Roger's aunt had paintings around the house depicting some very strange things and Roger comes across one that shows his son screaming and trapped within the reflection of the bathroom mirror. Roger goes into the bathroom and smashes the glass to reveal a hidden entryway into the supernatural world of the house. Roger enters and drops into a world that looks very much like his Vietnam flashbacks. It's here he finds his son screaming for help from a small bamboo cage. Excited, he quickly frees him. The son looks worried and says them must go or "he'll be back". It's at that moment a shadowy figure emerges from the jungle and opens fire on them. They jump into the water and swim under to avoid being shot. When they surface they are in the backyard pool. They both are overwhelmed with joy to be reunited. Roger takes his son into the house and then plans to leave through the front door.

Roger opens the front door and standing there on the porch is his dead friend, Ben, looking like a very imposing zombie soldier. Ben begins chasing Roger and his son. Ben makes it very clear he took his son because he was angry Roger left him in the jungle to be tortured. Roger is nearly killed by Ben a couple of times. Ben is able to catch Roger's kid and says he'll kill him. Roger realizes that it's his fear that gives Ben and the house their power over him. He declares he's no longer scared and and grabs his son and sticks a grenade into Ben's chest cavity and blows him to bits. Roger and his son walk out the front door and his ex-wife is just arriving to see her son.

This little haunted house flick has a blend of horror and comedy which make it quite an enjoyable film. This film was exec. produced by Sean Cunningham and directed by Steve Miner. You will most likely be familiar with them from the Friday the 13th series of films. The movie even has a score by the great Harry Manfredini, so right there you have to watch it. George Wendt of "Cheers" fame and Richard Moll of "Night Court" fame also appear in the movie so that's something for those of you who were fans of those shows back in the 1980s.

Theatrical Trailer

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