Dark House (2009) – By Jason S. Lockard

Dark House is one of the new eight horror films under the much anticipated Fangoria Frightfest Banner released by Lightning Media. Dark House was written and directed by Darin Scott! Dark House is yet another telling of the haunted house genre of horror films!

The story revolves around a 21 year old actress named Claire Thompson (Meghan Ory) who when she was just 7 years old was standing outside of The Derrode Foster house with a couple of her friends. One remarked how it was the scariest looking house she had ever seen, Claire trying to prove her bravery says she’d go in and proceeds to enter the Derrode Foster Home. When she enters she is confronted by the grizzly scene of the foster children massacred and Mrs. Derrode dead from sticking her hands in the garbage disposal; revealing one meaty stub and one still grinding in the disposal. Claire was so shaken by this she looked around for survivors and looked through a keyhole and was startled to see an eye staring back at her. She than stumbles back slips in some spilled blood and hits her head, we are then taken 14 years later where Claire is awakened by the nightmare of her memories once again. She goes to see her therapist who tells her it’s time for her to go to the house and confront her fears, even if it means taking an army of people with her. 

Later at her acting class, fate came calling! Walston Ray (Jeffery Combs) the self-proclaimed “King of Horror Haunts”; (a man who produces amusement park-like haunted houses) announces that he is transforming the Derrode Foster House into his next project “Dark House” and needs the student actors’ help to perform in his show and offers them $300 a day for their services! The students refuse saying, ‘That’s not acting’. Claire sees her opportunity to overcome her nightmare and not do it alone, so she convinces her fellow actors to join her and off they go to “Dark House!”

Dark House uses a revolutionary holographic images of monsters projected through the house to produce ‘top notch’ scares, but as the grand opening is upon them two newspaper reporters tour “Dark House” before the public; the computer system that runs Dark House is corrupted by a “virus”. The system fails and the house goes into lockdown mode. Is this a plot by a disgruntled employee of Walston Ray trying to ruin him or is the malevolent spirit of Mrs. Derrode back to finish what was left undone? Will Claire overcome her nightmare?! Will she even make it out alive?! Will anyone survive Dark House? All these questions and more are answered but the only way you’ll know is to watch the film to find out! 

Dark House is your typical horror film of this generation! It comes off like the made for TV horror films on SyFy Channel! While Dark House is a tad entertaining at times, for me the dialog (which in my opinion is 80% of your film) suffered because of the over 60 profanities that are spewed. Then there is the gross out violence which seems to be the rage now in horror. Now a days filmmakers use CGI to decapitate their victims [as per one victim in Dark House] and most of the film you can tell the violence is CGI! Computer graphics should be used to work seamlessly with the film, when they are not it’s a distraction and a waste of money! All and all this film was just not for me, but Dark House did win ’Best Feature’ at Shriekfest Horror Film Festival, so it does have it‘s audience. So if these things don’t bother you by all means check it out!

Moral Rating: Extreme Profanity, Extreme Violence and Nudity
Audience: Adults
Genre: Horror
Length: 85 min.
Released: 2009
Our Rating: D