House II: The Second Story

Year: 1987

Synopsis: After growing up separated from his family, Jesse inherits his old family home, which happens to have gateways to other times and parallel universes.

Pros:
• An enjoyable fantasy for those not looking for anything too in depth.
• The humor hit more often than it didn’t, while the more fantastical elements were implemented well enough for the lower budget.
• Electrician and part-time adventurer Bill (John Ratzenberger) stole the show in his self-aware ridiculousness.
• Gramps (Royal Dano), a 170 year old fart, was fun in a guilty pleasure kind of way.

Cons:
• Lacked the surreal horror of the first film, and even though it is framed as a traditional sequel, Second Story was pretty much a parallel universe.
• Besides Gramps, the primary protagonists were largely forgettable.
• Characters were randomly removed, while poorly elaborated one-off characters seemed to be there just to create a poor means of removing more major ones. The protagonists seemed to completely forget about their girlfriends after they left.
• The plot really did fall apart in the latter half.

Discussion:
The series was never truly advertised as an anthology, but in that context, the overall series becomes that much more interesting story-wise. It was always all about surviving evil in a house that seemed intertwined with it. The Second Story was very much a good versus evil story. Yet, there was no perfection in any of the heroes, suggesting that the heroes succeeded out of their somewhat muddled goodness. Digging up family graves, barely reacting to loosing their girlfriends, embracing the lawless old west, leaving that crystal skull out in the open after being told that it always attracted evil. OK, maybe this was poorly written. It was still fun anyway.


Rotten Tomatoes — 9%

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