Day #138: House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)

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House of 1,000 Corpses (2003) IMDB

Synopsis:

[From IMDB:] Two teenage couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

My take:

I’ve seen a lot of movies over the years – thousands, I’d say. And, obviously, this means that I’ve seen a lot of bad movies over the years. But House of 1,000 Corpses holds a special place in my heart, because it and Battlefield Earth are the only movies I’ve ever seen that have seriously made me consider walking out of the cinema well before they finished.

Sufficed to say, I hated it. HATED it.

So, of course I bought it on DVD at some point, because no one could ever accuse me of making smart financial decisions.

A decade after its release, I can’t exactly bring myself to say that I still feel that same level of dislike for House of 1,000 Corpses. No, instead I now just find it boring. Trite, even.

Although you can clearly recognise Rob Zombie’s appreciation for the aesthetics of the genre in House of 1,000 Corpses, it lacks the polish that will eventually become one of his trademarks. The same goes for the camerawork, which is amateurish at best, and downright annoying at its worst.

I can appreciate that House of 1,000 Corpses is an homage to movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is more interested in being a dark comedy take on exploitation films than on being a horror movie in and of itself. But it ultimately lacked the cohesiveness that could have brought it all together for me, which means that it ends up feeling messy, rather than shocking.

One thing I do like about this movie is that it focuses on the Firefly family, rather than the one-dimensional teens who are really only there to be victimised. I just wish that there’d been anything even vaguely menacing about them. But, while the schlocky way in which they’re handled allows for some nicely played comedic moments here and there, I just think they’re mostly annoying.

I know that House of 1,000 Corpses is considered to be one of those ‘love it or hate it’ type of movies, but like I said, I wouldn’t say I hate it (any more). It just seems to be trying so hard that I’ve come out the other side of love or hate, and found myself squarely in the ‘disinterested’ camp.

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