Confession: I will watch any movie Jeffrey Combs is in. Fan girl much? Of course. So when I saw Dark House come across my Hulu feed I just couldn’t resist. Dark House is a supernatural horror movie starring Jeffrey Combs, Matt Hoen, and Meghan Ory among others – about a woman who experienced incredible horrors as a child facing her fears. In a very odd, comical, and awkward way. But we’ll get to that.
Dark House opens up at the Darrode House, a home for foster children run by Janet Darrode, a super religious violent fanatic who ends up murdering the children in a horrific manner and later shoving her own hands down a running garbage disposal as penance. And all of this? Was witnessed by young Claire Thompson. Needless to say it fucked her over for life. Therapy, medication, you name it. For most of the film Claire is now an adult, trying to become an actress while simultaneously trying to keep her shit together. And of course, her therapist suggests she revisit the house of horrors and try to recover her memories of what happened in order to better deal with the trauma. SERENDIPITOUSLY a crazed haunted house horror master Walston Rey (played by Jeffrey Combs) busts into her acting class and invites all of the class $300 a pop to sub as actors in the opening night of his newest horror attraction – Dark House. Staged at none other than? The Darrode House. How Random.
Claire accepts and coaxes her classmates to join them, and they spend the evening preparing for their roles while Walston Rey shows them his newest technology – laser projected horror monsters. They’re holograms that are set up throughout this house in specific scene settings and activated by “fear”. The theory is pretty cool (I’m looking at you, horror haunts – get on this shit) but what Claire, Mr. Rey, and the acting students don’t know? Mrs. Darrode’s ghost is still very much active in the home, and she? Has some unfinished business to finish. Specifically with Claire.
This movie is . . . ridiculous. The plot has holes you could drive a truck through, and it’s all kind of garbled together in a random fashion that could really be good but instead is mostly unorganized and silly. HOWEVER, I really dug a lot of the special effects and campy acting. And Meghan Ory is just a fantastic over the top dramatic actress. It was driving me nuts the entire movie until I realized she was Ruby from Once Upon A Time.
I wouldn’t go into Dark House expecting a cinematic masterpiece. Go in knowing there are a few spooky moments and try to enjoy an almost clever film with a story that necessarily does not flow cleanly but is refreshing with its unique plot and random holy-crap-a-head-just-exploded-look-at-that-cgi-geyser moments.