Parents' Guide to

Death House

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Very gory horror with cult stars is more strange than scary.

Movie R 2018 88 minutes
Death House Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

The Worst "Horror" """Movie""" ive ever seen

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This strange, ambitious genre movie is notable for its huge cast of horror icons from the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, but it's more horrifying than scary and not always good, though certainly interesting. Death House was originally written by Gunnar Hansen -- who played Leatherface in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and passed away in 2015 -- and then taken up by lesser-known filmmaker B. Harrison Smith. Smith gives the movie a smeary, smudgy-grayish video look, perhaps as a tribute to the experience of watching horror classics on VHS, but perhaps also as a way of making things disconcerting.

The storytelling is so strange that it's almost nightmarish, which appears to be on purpose, as Smith incorporates sequences of virtual reality that set up a sense of "all bets are off." Yet Smith relies more on shock and gore than he does on creepiness or suspense, which isn't always fun. The two younger leads are appealing, and, of the horror legends, Wallace (E.T., Cujo, The House of the Devil) and Hodder (Jason Voorhees in four of the Friday the 13th movies) get the most screen time. Tony Todd (Candyman), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), and many more also appear. Fans who already know these names will probably be on board with Death House, but casual horror fans should beware.

Movie Details

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