Reviewed by: Angela Bowman
Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
|Featuring:||Michael Madsen—“Reservoir Dogs,” “Kill Bill” Vol. 1 and 2, “Sin City”
Reynaldo Rosales—“She Hates Me,” “Homeland Security”
Heidi Dippold—“NCIS,” “Alias”, “The Sopranos”
Julie Ann Emery—“Hitch,” “Commander in Chief,” “ER”
Bill Moseley—“The Devil’s Rejects,” “House of a 1000 Corpses”
Allana Bale, J.P. Davis, Jeffrey de Graft-Johnson, Pawel Delag, Leslie Easterbrook, Mark Fierer, Joe Goodman, Andrew Gorzen, Holly McClure, Bobby Neutz, Albert Pietrzak, Weronika Rosati, Florentyna Synowiecka, Lew Temple
“Thr3e” (2006), “The Visitation” (2006)
Ralph Winter, Wojtek Frykowski, Joe Goodman, Bobby Neutz, Kelly Neutz, Daniel Russell, Marek Sledziewski, Michael Webber
|Distributor:||Roadside Attractions / Lions Gate Films Home|
“The only way out… is in.”
“House” is based on the novel by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. It centers around a young couple, Jack (Reynaldo Rosales) and Stephanie (Heidi Dippold), who are in a troubled marriage, and on their way to counseling, who end up stranded in a rural area. The young couple happens upon the Wayside Inn. They enter to find the house empty, save another couple in the same predicament (Randy, played by J.P. Davis and Leslie, played by Julie Ann Emery). But just as their nerves are beginning to settle, the host family returns and the nightmare really begins. The four houseguests are forced to face inner struggles brought to life, while trapped in a maze of a “haunted house” that has a mind of it’s own, hunted by the Master of the House, who has set out three house rules.
It appears that the only way out is for one of them to die.
“House” is definitely not a family film, and I would have to agree with the “R” rating it has received. Along with the elements of terror, it contains adult themes, satanic references and symbols and a good deal of violence and death, including violence using guns and knives. One of the female characters wears a low-cut dress revealing cleavage. While she is at the inn with one man, she flirts with Jack, who is married. She is portrayed as promiscuous, due to a past traumatic experience that plays out in the film, and there is one scene in which they start to kiss, however he does not follow through. Another scene that one might find particularly troubling is of a young boy shooting another person. The characters who are possessed by demons have black smoking coming from them, and, in some cases, their eyes glaze over showing the demons beneath, and there are multiple satanic symbols.
Technically speaking, this film was quite impressive for a lower-budget production (estimated at $2,500,000). While there were a few obviously “fake” scenes, overall, the special effects that the story called for were very good. Unfortunately, this is the only positive quality I could find with this movie, because everything else about it was very disturbing.
Trying to give the production the benefit of the doubt, I considered that “House” was made as a secular film and not a Christian film, however whether or not one labels this a Christian film, it still has the same problems from a Christian standpoint.
First of all is the general darkness of the film. The images of violence and murder made me think upon Philippians 4:8, that we are to think about things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, whatever is admirable, and, from that standpoint, I can’t help but wonder how God would feel about entertainment that brings down the spirit and leaves a person with disturbing images and thoughts.
However, while some may be able to overlook this aspect, I simply cannot overlook the second, which is the satanic element. There are a few satanic symbols shown, the most prevalent being the Church of Satan symbol, which is the inverted pentagram and goat’s head, and it is made very clear that the evil forces are satanic. The problem with this is that, while the evil element is very clear, the good element is not clear at all, and, in explanation, I am afraid that I have to give away an important piece of the ending. The good element is portrayed by a young girl, who dies and becomes a light that destroys the evil. As Christians, we may assume that this is supposed to be a representative of Jesus Christ, however this is never made clear in the film. And while you might argue that it is allegorical, then I must ask why the evil is not as well. If there is a battle with Satan clearly on one side, then we must have Jesus clearly on the other side. 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan can appear to be an angel of light, so the fact that this girl turns into light means nothing, and Ephesians 6:10-18, which speaks of spiritual warfare, tells us that our weapon against Satan is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
While scripture regarding light and darkness is mentioned, the film does not further explain this, and, in fact, it is quite literally the light within the girl that overcomes the satanic darkness. Of further concern, some people believe in feminine gods, and therefore could justify their beliefs through this film.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
Also see our Christian Film News™ article—“House”—Dekker and Peretti’s horror/thriller receives theatrical release
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.