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v (2005)
The House

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 06/28/2006

Well, if a month has gone by, it must be time from another ghost movie from Hong Kong. This time, it's one of the "haunted house" variety -- something which came out just recently with Hsu Chi's Home Sweet Home, but The House seems determined to take yet another crack at the genre. Unfortunately, it's yet another current Hong Kong production that does everything by the book and nothing more, and, as such, offers nothing new to the viewer.

In the movie, Maggie Siu plays a widow who must move into a run-down apartment because her husband squnadered the family's savings on drugs. Almost right away, strange things start happening, but Maggie doesn't pay much attention to them, even after her daughter starts freaking out. Eventually, as you might expect, Maggie finds out that a murder/suicide occurred just before she moved in, and the ghosts of the deceased are occupying the apartment. While it's not the most original plot in the world, The House held my attention, and the movie itself is compentently made, with solid acting (especially from the girl that plays Maggie's daughter), some nice cinematography and a suitably spooky musical score.

But The House offers no true shocks or scares during its' running time. Granted, after having to sit through quite a number of these types of movies over the years (most of middling to poor quality), I'm pretty jaded towards this genre -- but I think even the intended teenybopper audience won't be spooked by the proceedings here. Also, annoyingly, The House tries to liven things up with a "twist" ending that goes on for far too long. There were three or four points which could have been a decent end point, but the film-makers seem determined to keep stringing things out.

By the time The House finally ended, I really didn't care about the characters or their outcomes, and I would suspect most viewers would feel the same. If you're really desperate for a Hong Kong ghost movie and have already seen the dozens and dozens of them that are already out there, then you might want to give The House a chance. Otherwise, take a pass and save your time for one of the better entries in the genre, such as the Pang Brothers' The Eye.

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Reviewer Score: 5