Don't Go in the House

1979

Action / Horror

28
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 35%
IMDb Rating 5.6 10 2676

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1hr 22 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by LavaHound_76 8 / 10

What ever happened to movies like this?

I first heard about Don't Go In The House when Quentin Tarantino mentioned that it was one of the most disturbing films he had ever seen. That's a bit hard to ignore, especially when it is coming from someone who directed/wrote one of the most brutal "ear-slashing" torture scenes in cinematic history. I still didn't bother renting it until the film left the "new releases" section of the video store I frequent. Even Tarantino's quote didn't grab me THAT much as I thought the title of the movie was a bit goofy, and I read elsewhere that it was really dated. I was just not in the mood for some silly cheesy 80's ultra-low budget exploitation film reminiscent of Last House on Dead End Street. Thankfully, I got more than that...way more.

Don't Go in The House was no doubt influenced by the very true story of Ed Gein which basically means that comparisons to Deranged and Psycho are inevitable. Throw in a bit of Maniac (which opened the same year) with a new weapon of choice and you've basically got Don't Go In The House. What is it about you say? It's about Donny Kohler who lives with his mother and comes home one day from work to find her dead. A normal person who made such a discovery would automatically call 911, but of course Donny isn't normal - that would just be boring. No, Donny instead turns up the stereo, smokes, jumps on a chair like a kid, and burns his cigarette out on a statuette. He is free!! Free from his oppressive and abusive mother. That's until he hears her voice calling out to him. But mother's voice is soon washed away by voices of women luring him on, beckoning him to go against her mothers stern demands and "sin". So, this means that Donny must go out, lure women back to his house, and....the rest is a spoiler.

While Don't Go In The House does have exploitative qualities about it, what sets it aside from typical "graphic" blood-spurting slashers like Maniac and The Prowler is its concentration and attention it gives to the inner turmoil of the lead character rather than focusing on his brutal actions. For this reason the film comes closer to being a character study like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer rather than a simple slasher like The Prowler. Granted, there are certain moments that are a bit hokey, but most of the movie is brilliantly embedded in reality due to solid convincing dialogue, the non-disappearance of daily routine like that pesky thing called "work", and actions that are perfectly in sync with intense situations that the victims find themselves in (especially the first one).

Don't Go In The House doesn't have too much fat either - every scene serves a clear purpose and doesn't seem to be drawn out to meet its feature length running time. The camera work is very good and inventive like an early Sam Raimi film. One instance that stands out is very brief. It involves Donny slapping a corpse across the face that is seated on a rocking chair. We see this from the corpses point of view - meaning that Donny slaps the camera, it shakes, and then it begins to rock back and forth. Brilliant! And completely unexpected in such a movie. The special effects are not bad for a low budget B movie from the 80's minus Savini - the least it can do is not make you laugh.

Overall, this was a solid film that didn't disturb me as much as it did Tarantino, but it did catch me by surprise.

Reviewed by Kerry (iate) 10 / 10

What? Creepy verstehen surrealism isn't enough??

First off, I don't like real life violence, but I like realistic violence in the appropriate media forms. That being stated, I appreciate the effort and crafting of any horror film that does good with what it has, which is what this film does exactly and which is the reason why I love it. But there is a part of me that cannot understand why they thought this movie was so bad. I mean sure, it has obvious signs of a low budget production, a little bit of a strong focus on a sub-theme layered somewhere in the movie and a bit of ambiguity, but everything else from the mundane spoken lines, the acting (especially with Mr.Grimaldi...hey, every big career has to start small) the synthesized music and disturbing imagery that you could rarely find in horror movies were memorably effective.

I can understand how some people just don't think it's scary in general and I'm not worried about that at all, but what confuses me is when people give it a bad grade for being 'sick' and 'perverse'. Were they just expecting some lame kill scenes like the kind we see today where we see the killer with weapon in hand, we see the victim scream and then we suddenly cut to camera two and they're magically dead? I particularly understand that some people are sensitive to such material and want to express being politically correct in their every day lives (apparently with the old movies they watch as well), but come on ladies and gentlemen!

This movie takes steps in a different direction! It pulls you into the life of a throughly traumatized man (hence verstehen = a walk in another person's shoes), it was made a few years after famous real-life serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy and David 'Son of Sam' Berkowtiz were caught. All disturbed men who performed terrible acts of cruelty and murder due to the horrors of their personal traumatized lives, and you don't find it horrifying, scary, disturbing and/or unique to witness the fictional account of such a man who let his squelched mind wander too far on a positive gamut at all??

If you cannot deal with the aspects talked about in this movie then watch something else and don't complain about how sick a horror movie is. It's a HORROR movie to begin with, it's supposed to be that way! But if you are looking for a psychological horror movie that is uniquely creepy and different for a change (I'm really getting tired of that old 'EEEK', splat, ketchup-on-the-wall crap), and if you KNOW you can take the explicitness, then be my guest, hop on in, watch the movie and see what you think!

Reviewed by insomniac_rod 5 / 10

It's contribution to the genre: the burning scene.

A movie highly inspired by "Psycho" tells the story of Donny, a traumatized man that hates women because as a child he was abused by his mother; she burned his hands (scene is shown in a flashback).

A grown-up Donny keeps his mother's corpse in the 2nd. floor , sitting in a rocking chair (as I remember). Donny's violent conduct against women is a subliminal revenge against his mother but it helps him in order to feel "good". How could Donny get rid of his demons?

*SPOILERS* "Don't Go In The House" is only remembered because of the infamous burning scene. Donny ties a naked woman and later burns her with a flame thrower. Obviously he didn't play with toys as a children. The scene is fantastic for lovers of violence.

Disturbing but it's a creative scene that is a key part of the beginning of the slasher era.

There isn't much to talk about this movie besides the burning scene and the ending. The movie is not a completely rip-off of "Psycho" mainly because of it's slasher elements and late 70's influences in the genre.

The actor who played Donny did a good job and the other cast members were OK for a movie of this kind.

6/10. Watch it only if you are very into the genre. Otherwise it won't entertain you.

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