Saturday, May 29, 2010

'House of 9' is fairly unremarkable

House of 9 (2006)
Starring: Dennis Hopper and Kelly Brook
Director: Steven R. Monroe
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

Nine strangers wake up in a house with no exits and an automatic feeding system. A voice announces over a speaker that only one of them may leave the house alive, but that person will "win" 5 million dollars. Will these prisoners work together to escape, or will they turn on each other?

"House of 9" is a little bit of "Cube", a little bit of "Saw", and a whole lot of "Big Brother." It goes light on the "torture porn" aspect of the film, and it's spends a little more time developing the captured characters as believable human beings--both of which help it score a few extra points with me--but while it held my attention, but it didn't do much more than that.

There was nothing in particular that makes me want to condemn the film (although the annoying jump cuts that got used to show a character's mind snapping, and the slipping accent of Hopper almost rose to the level of bothersome) but there's also nothing that makes me want to stand up and cheer. The film moves along at a decent pace, the tension stays high, and the ending ellicits sadistic chuckles. There weren't any real surprises, though.

I think "House of 9" is an average, fairly unoriginal film. It's not bad, but it's not good. If you're a fan of this particular horror subgenre--or huge a fan of Kelly Brook or Dennis Hopper--you might put it somewhere low on your priority list, but otherwise, skip it for the day it shows up on TV and there's nothing else to watch.

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