Don't Go In The House/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Starting in 1960 with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the horror genre saw in influx of films that dealt with disturbed young men and their horrible relationships with their mothers. Some not as bad as others, but the usual result was generally one pissed off man and all of the people that have to suffer because of his mental issues. Movies like these really started to change shape once the 70’s rolled in and we had very disturbing films like Deranged and Maniac shaping up what were to be some pretty damn fine films in the process. But there are films like those that cake on the sleaze by the boatload and although Don’t Go In The House isn’t as sleazy as many of them, it’s certainly a very rough film if you have issues with violence against women.
Don’t Go in the House is the story of a young man named Donny who had some issues with his mother as a child. She was an incredibly sadistic person who would discipline her son in some of the most unimaginable ways a parent ever could. One night when working at the local incinerator, a man is basically set on fire because of a mistake (or was it?), making for quite the traumatic work experience. Upon returning home that night, Donny finds out that his overprotective elderly mother is dead. Once that disconnection with his mother occurs, everything goes nuts for Donny. To repress the memory of his mother’s death, Donny starts going through a series of transformations until he manages to settle into a real dangerous area. He starts searching for women to bring home to the new “oven room” of his house. What he does is, after kidnapping them or convincing them to come to his home, he hangs them in a steel covered room in which he burns them alive with his flamethrower. Although the movie isn’t a graphic as it may sound, some of the scenes are definitely intense. From there you witness the deterioration of Donny until the final climax of the film.
The thing in my opinion that makes Don’t Go in the House such an effective film is the process that the movie manages to take you through as the viewer. The character of Donny is one of the most complex ones in a film like this because even though he’s committing such horrible acts, he’s actually looked at as the victim for most of the film. Then, as the viewer I’m sure that you’ll eventually look at Donny as the scumbag that he is and notice how your feelings towards him have changed. Then, as the final act of the film plays out, it’s a very interesting way to try and please the audience as nobody is rooting for Donny at this point. Also, the acting in the film by Dan Grimaldi is actually pretty solid and is as much of a departure from his role on the HBO show The Sopranos as well.
Director Joseph Ellison made a film that manages to do what a horror film is supposed to do to its audience. He manages to get us into the atmosphere of the creepy house that Donny lived in with his mother and manages to paint the story as very dark and as depressing as can be. This movie would have played perfectly to a drive-in crowd as well as in any grindhouse theatre that showed movies of this type. There is no doubt that Don’t Go in the House still manages to stand on its own and get across the type of film that it was trying to be. It would eventually end up on the UK’s “Video Nasty” list, but would eventually see a release in 1987 there with about 4 minutes or so cut from the film. But since the advent of DVD, fans of this movie have had a pretty good DVD to relive this “video nasty” in all of its uncut and uncensored glory.
Reviewed by Ed Demko