House of Fallen (Movie Review)

Preamble

I finally… FINALLY… made it through House of Fallen last night.

(House of Fallen movie poster)

This movie holds my personal all-time record for how many times I started a movie and got about 20 minutes into it before being interrupted to the point where I could not continue. While I want to say 50 times, I am sure it is probably about a dozen or so.

That’s not the only weird thing about my dealings with this particular film. What attracted me to it in the first place was the movie poster… or rather, the part of the movie poster that the CDC (Centres for Disease Control & Prevention) used in its own poster for Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.

(CDC Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness poster)

The red eyes peeking though the window (at least that what it looks like to me), the dirty fingernails… that image caught my imagination. So when I was making my way through the Zombie Serengeti (aka The Walmarts) and saw those haunting eyes gazing at me from the DVD cover of House of Fallen, I simply HAD to buy it. That was about a month or two ago. Ever since then, at least once or twice a week, I slapped the disc into the old coal-burning computer with the water-cooled monitor, tossed in a few food pellets for the hamster-driven DVD player and sat down to view this film. At LEAST a dozen times, I’ve done this and just as many times, I’ve been pulled away about 15 or 20 minutes into the film.

So by the time I saw it all the way through, I had a bit invested in this movie!

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Movie Review

What struck me very early into House of Fallen was that there appeared to be three styles of acting going on. There are the group of people stuck in a spooky house somewhere… and there is another smaller group of people who go between a spooky abandoned church and a not quite so spooky old house… and there is a third group of people who go between a dusty old library/storage room and a beach at sunrise (or is it sunset?)…  and for the longest time (most of the time!), one group doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with either of the others. But more importantly, in terms of acting style, the ‘stuck in the spooky house’ group’s acting was pretty bad. I mean like ‘theatre school improv class’ bad whereas the other two groups’ acting was merely OK.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, here.

OK, here goes, from the official blurb… “The Watchers, a group of fallen angels, walk amongst the earth disguised as humans, torturing their vessels.  But in the war between heaven and hell, how do you kill what is already dead?” What the heck does that even mean? Beats me! I should have paid attention to that little red flag going up in my mind at the time.

(The spooky old church… as opposed to the spooky old house)

The library/beach group, we find, are a group of angels who are quarrelling amongst themselves and have been, apparently, for millennia. The spooky house group are a group of thieves or criminals who are quarrelling amongst themselves but there seems to be some kind of evil spirit or force in the house. The church/house people are involved with an evil spirit which has possessed one of them.

Mayhem ensues when… well, the movie blurb says, “in the hunt for prophetic truth, three strangers are put on trial for their past sins, and are forced to fight for survival in the face of an ancient evil.” More than an hour into this 95 minute movie, you’d have no clue this was the case. There’s an awful lot of talking but not a heck of a lot actually happens. It is quite frustrating and, eventually, tiresome. Corbin Bernsen plays one of the angels (albeit in human form) in the library/beach group. I like him a lot and wish he could have been allowed to do more. Everything is so static. Even in the spooky house group, where people get shot and stabbed, it seems like nothing much is happening, ultimately.

(Possessed guy. He was kinda good, actually)

My two cents…  This movie doesn’t even have any reviews on RottenTomatoes.com. None. Not even one! That’s rarely a good sign.  It’s not that it was painful to watch. It wasn’t excruciatingly bad. It just didn’t go anywhere. People were talking but half the time, you had no clue what they were saying and, after a while, you just stopped caring.

I have to be honest with you guys, if I didn’t have so much time, energy and emotion invested in this movie, I’d probably have given it a miss. Allow me to do you all y’all a favour. I suggest you give it a miss as well.

Bottom line… House of Fallen falls flat.

Sad. I wanted to like this movie. I really did.

My first ever ‘quarter thumb up.’

____________________________________________________________

Although there were not reviews at RottenTomatoes.com, I feel I should print the three comments that were there. Enjoy.

I wanted this to be a good movie so bad!!! I couldn’t get past the first 10 mins though. The story had no point and it was taking way to long to get to wherever the story was supposed to go. Just a big waste of time. (Krystal W)

I couldn’t get past the first 15 minutes. The acting was absolutely unbearable. (Jerry C)

It stars C Thomas Howell. That’s strike one. Of course I did not know this bit of information when I began watching it. Couldn’t even make it all of the way through. Characters who you can’t possibly care about making long-winded verbal threats to one another comprise the 50% I watched. (Frank B)

I see I wasn’t the only one who had trouble making it through the first 20 minutes! 😉

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