DVD Review: House of 9
Director Steven R. Monroe
Burrowing heavily from Saw 1 & 2 as well as Agatha Christie, House of 9 puts us into the familiar situation of 9 strangers who wake up locked in a house with no possible means of escape. The difference being that we’re apparently in
Without much ado the personalities in the room start to clash. The players include a female junkie, a Irish priest played by Dennis Hopper, a married couple, a club girl, a wannabe British rapper, an American cop, a French fashion designer and a wholesome chorus girl. As time goes by the group are provided with increasing less food and higher temperatures. Before long tempers flare and our 9 strangers start to get picked off one by one. The whole time the action gets switched between security cameras to 35 mm film and even gives us the requisite twist ending.
House of 9 does work on some levels and presents a pretty decent conflict between the characters that quickly spirals out of control. However we’ve all seen this before and in this version of the story we don’t get any inventive deaths and Jigsaw never shows to liven up the festivities. In Saw II the characters decent into murder seemed much more human in comparison to what happens here. The characters themselves are never given much backstory and while the host suggests they are all there for a reason this reason is never once brought up during the course of the film and none of the character disclose much more than a name and occupation to identify themselves. Two of the characters discuss seeing each other a few years before at a party yet never do they or anyone else question the relevance of that information. Instead they spend time arguing, trying to break out and finally get drunk and party. Thereafter the killings begin and never a eyebrow is raised as to if anyone is who they really say they are or why they are all in this situation.
The film pretty much goes off by the numbers and ends with the requiste twist ending that explains nothing and simply ends the movie. Director Steven Monroe does a decent job of directing here and even pulls off the tricky aspect of switching between film and security camera video that the host is apparently watching. House of 9 is simply put, is a rip off of Saw 2 that doesn’t provide any of the guilty pleasures or satisfaction of that film. While the pacing of the film is good and the actors are believeable it still can’t pull off what Saw did and fails at giving us a story that will satisfy the viewer in the end. Skip this one and Watch Saw 2 again.
2 out of 5 blood axes