The Source for Parents

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

House (4/7/2009)

Rated R for some violence and terror.

Directed by Robby Henson (Thr3e and The Visitation)

Starring Michael Madsen and Bill Moseley

Todd's Rating: Rental

A Christian Horror movie?…I still can’t believe I liked it.

On a deserted back road in Alabama, Jack and Stephanie find themselves driving fast and running late. Their world suddenly changes when a strange accident leaves them stranded with no car, no cell phone coverage, and no help in sight. They have no choice except to continue on foot. As darkness approaches, they round a bend and see a small sign at the top of a long gravel driveway: The Wayside Inn. The exhausted couple stands in front of an inviting house, complete with gated stone wall, ancient oak trees, and a note welcoming weary travelers. Inside they find another couple with an equally troubling story about a similar accident. It seems that backwoods pranksters have made their day miserable. Still, they are safe…or so they think.

If you have read any of our reviews or listened to our movie podcasts, you know that I’m not a huge fan of horror movies and I think most Christian films are on the cheesy side (No need to send hate mail – I said most Christian films, not all). So when I heard they were making of film based on the Frank Peretti/Ted Dekker book "House" (by the way, I loved the book), I was skeptical to say the least.

As it turned out… it wasn’t that bad. Sure the acting was not the greatest and the special effects were typical B-horror effects but the story was strong enough to keep me interested the entire time. Not only is the story strong, but the message of the film is very thought provoking and should lead to some great conversations.

There is one “big name” in House… Michael Madsen who has had a wide range of roles. Whether he’s a sadistic villain in Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill or a compassionate father in Free Willy, he generally scares me, and he is great in the smaller role here.

I guess the biggest question is, “Who will watch it?” The Left Behind / Fireproof crowd will certainly skip it and I’m assuming the Saw crowd will too. But if you are asking me… I say Rent it.

I was honestly surprised this film got an R-rating. There have been plenty of PG-13 movies that were scarier and darker (The Ring, The Grudge, etc) or more violent (The Bourne movies) or just plain more inappropriate (You Don't Mess With The Zohan).

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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