Movie Review: Death House (2017)

Synopsis: Two FBI agents are given a tour of a top-secret federal prison where scientists use virtual environments and homeless people to study criminals as they commit their violent acts. When outside sabotage causes the power to go out, the prisoners break loose from their confinement.

Who's in it? The movie stars Kane Hodder, Cortney Palm, Cody Longo, Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman, Tony Todd and Gunnar Hansen.

Review: It's been a while since my wife and I have had a chance to watch a horror movie together. My original plan was to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre again. However, I came across this film while looking for that one and, thinking it sounded somewhat different, decided to give it a try.

My first impression of this film when we started watching it was it was a movie with a lot of potential. Not only did the plot sound interesting (though there were parts of it that reminded me of Resident Evil) it had a who's who of horror movie actors ranging from the guy (Hansen) who played Leatherface and that other guy (Hodder) who played Jason Voorhees and Victor Crowley.

Unfortunately, as has been the case way too often lately, the movie fell well short of living up to that potential.

I think the movie's biggest problem is it tried to do too much. Had the filmmakers kept things simple and made this a simple escaped inmate movie, I think it would have been considerably better. Instead, the film had a much more complicated plot involving supernatural/immortal Five Evils, the battle between good and evil and a subplot about technology replacing God in people's lives. The end result of this was the movie wound up being hard to follow at times and, by the time we got to the end, I found I was losing interest.

Also not helping the film were the two FBI agents (Palm and Longo) who, quite frankly, weren't that interesting, even when their secret past lives were revealed. In fact, I think the film would have been considerably better had it been centered around the various scientists (who were considerably more interesting, even with much less screen time) and written out the FBI agents completely.

Final Opinion: The movie sounded like it would be interesting and has a cast full of recognizable names. Unfortunately, the overly-complex plot ended up taking away from what could have been a memorable blood fest.

My Grade: D


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