The Horror Show

Alternate Title: House III: The Horror Show

Year: 1989

Synopsis: A detective is literally haunted by a serial killer he brought down.

Pros:
• While they might not have truly enjoyed themselves, Lance Henricksen strongly portrayed a cop on the edge of sanity, while Brion James went all the way as a serial killer turned vengeful poltergeist.
• The practical special effects and makeup were surprisingly good, especially given the clearly lower budget.
• The reality bending was competently portrayed.
• The final showdown was genuinely engaging, even though elements of it were clearly inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Cons:
• The first half of the film was erratically paced.
• Subplots were not engaging, adding much less to the story than they were meant to.
• Was rather derivative of other supernatural slasher films.
• Sappy ending.

Discussion:
It was easy to see how this film was all but disowned as an installment of the House franchise. Some dark humor, but not a lot. Greater focus on a central villain. Really just a supernatural slasher. Still, in the context of the overall franchise, this is still technically a film about a house infested with the supernatural, and those that find themselves at odds with it all. Though it was unclear if this was the case, one could see this installment as a sudo origin story for houses like the ones highlighted in the prior films. Max Jenke (Brion), was certainly manipulating reality in ways reminiscent of what was seen prior. If he succeeded in destroying all he set out to destroy, the house featured here might have become very much like those others, gateways to parallel universes and all.


Rotten Tomatoes — 0%

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