Wednesday, October 11, 2006
31 Days of Halloween - Day 11 Movie
Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses" (2002) is a bit of a mess. I was stunned, because I saw the sequel "The Devil's Rejects" first, which I found to be a pretty polished, and well thought out movie with a lot of interesting directorial and editorial choices. The characters, while not terribly likeable, were characters that could be related to, at least and had dimension to them. Zombie's ability to shift who the audience was rooting for, and who were the monsters gave it some weight.
"House of 1000 Corpses" seems like a rough sketch, a very rough sketch, of what would come in the sequel. The characters are very roughly formed, barely characters really. More like visual images. There's no one in this movie to put any emotional investment, and while Zombie does play around with style in his directing and editing choices, it's hard to see that he'd become so accomplished by his second movie. Also, the plot, while very simple, seems to veer all over the place.
This is essentially, four teens on a road trip find themselves going down the wrong road and ending up in the house of a crazy family of sadistic murderers, like "Spiderbaby," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," or "Hills Have Eyes". Unfortunately you never feel the plight of the teens, and, as I said, the crazed family members are so rudimentary, it's hard to take them seriously as threats, despite the atrocities they commit. There are some satirical elements here, but because everything else is so primordial, they fail to have the effect they should, and instead just become a part of the scenery.
I was entertained to a point, but recommend anyone who hasn't seen this skip it and move on to the worthy "The Devil's Rejects" instead.