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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘House’

Take a break from work: watch a movie trailer…


No, it’s not Hugh Laurie’s irascible medical detective, it’s another horror movie not screened for critics. If the trailer is to be believed, it’s about a house that appears to be haunted: the originality of the concept is, honestly, startling. But the official site promises us that this is “a riveting thriller that puts a hauntingly familiar face on evil”: it’s Dick Cheney, isn’t it? See, now I don’t have to see the movie.

A further look around the film’s site, though reveals two quotes, apparently drawn from reviews — clearly, a select few critics were allowed to see this. Which critics? Folks from HollywoodJesus and NewChristianVoice.com. Aha. This is one of those Christian horror flicks, isn’t it? No fool me, I dug some more around the net: I took a look around Amazon, to see what else Ted Dekker, who cowrote the book upon which this film is based, has written. And I found books with titles Infidel, Adam, Saint, and Sinner. Which still isn’t a hard clue: lots of fantasy and horror draws on Christian mythology. But then came the cincher: Dekker’s first nonfiction book is called The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth. You want scary? There is it, right there.

Oh, and Michael Madsen is in this too. That’s pretty terrifying, though not in a good way.

House opens limited today in the U.S.; no U.K. release date has been announced.



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  • Mimi

    Could it beeeee… Satan?!

  • JoshB

    It’s not Satan, it’s God, aka Greg House. Hence the title.

  • LDora

    I actually read the book this was based on a few years back. By accident. I was SO furious. Not just that it was poorly written, which it was with action sequences and dialogue about as dynamic as the old Commodore 64 I learned to type on back in elementary school, or just that it was Christian Horror (which admittedly I would have discovered had I bothered to look at the author’s bio before buying). No, I was angry at how ridiculously cut’n’paste the ideas of the sins were that these regular folks apparently needed punishment for, how infuriatingly high and mighty it all is.

    Thankfully, the lady at the bookstore let me exchange it even though it had been thrown across the room at one point. If this is the sort of thing that scares Christian moviegoers, I think I’ll just go back to hiding my head under the blanket whenever the pencil scene from Evil Dead comes on screen, thanks.

  • Despite being Catholic–or perhaps because of that–I’ve learned to ignore most people who claim to be Christian artists if for no other reason than the fact that it’s oh so tiring to see them act as if Christianity was their personal property and that anyone who lays claim to it without their specific approval is indulging in the religious equivalent of copywright infringement.

    Yes, it’s nice that these guys are inspired by religion but it would also be nice if they don’t rely so much on the Christian label. After all, there’s a reason a lot of the more famous religious music–Handel’s “Messiah,” for example–isn’t sold in the Christian Music section of your average record store. Even cultural conservatives have noted to their embarrassment how often the films they most revere come from secular filmmakers and not so-called “Christian” ones.

    Anyway, after viewing that uninspired trailer, I’m not surprised to read that this movie is getting bad reviews. No doubt I’m better off spending my ticket money on the Christian charity of my choice.

  • Foy Lyndstrom

    If the above reviewer had read any recent interview with Ted Dekker, you would quickly realize that you are extremely mis-reading him.

    A quote from a recent interview found here:
    http://www.examiner.com/x-585-Entertainment-Examiner~y2008m11d6-A-Conversation-with-Author-Ted-Dekker

    “I’m not a Christian writer. One of the labels that gets stuck on me is, ‘Ted Dekker – Christian fiction writer.’ I’m not even sure what Christian fiction is. It’s like saying Democratic fiction or Republican fiction. It is a label which makes no sense to me. This movie, and all of the stories that I write, simply examine the realities of life and a big part of life is the issue of redemption; the spiritual journey that each of us takes. I am a Christian, and that does influence my world view. There is a redemptive message in all of my books, but I rarely use the kind of jargon that is associated with Christianity or the Church.”

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