HOUSE, is a haunted house movie from the 80's, from Director Steve Miner of Friday the 13th part 2 and 3 fame, as well as writer Fred Dekker who brought us Night of the Creeps and Monster Squad.
With these two names in Horror, you'd think they would have set us up with an amazing film. While HOUSE is a fun tour around the premises, it feels more like a playground. The stage is set perfectly with Roger as our main character. He has a very distinct history with this house, so it doesn't feel forced as to why he's there., it just feels right.
As the movie moves on, they play into his Vietnam experience while he is writing. And while his flashbacks are a nice diversion from the house, it also adds another layer to the movie while also almost making it a war story... and of course, the source of Rogers fears.
While this makes for an interesting watch, the movie isn't scary in the least bit. Many consider this more of a Horror movie than a Comedy, and I'd say that's about right. But, while watching this, I never felt the urge to laugh...well, except for when the bad costumes are on screen (fat woman getting shot by shotgun.)
George Wendt, known as Norm of CHEERS fame, plays Rogers neighbor. I would dare say that the whole movie feels like a Horror movie but for kids. While missing things like gore, nudity, and scares, this really feels like a good starter movie for your child. It's all in how it's presented. Where as in Evil Dead it's disgusting and over the top, as in adults can enjoy it. But, in HOUSE, it's a little bland and pretty safe. While the effects and stuff are kind of cheesy, there are many instances in the film in which they are used to a pretty good degree... just don't expect to be scared.
If you're looking for a light hearted Horror movie, with a good story and a lot going for it in the costume department, and maybe something to watch with the kids, then this will work for you.