Didn’t I see this shit in theaters? Why yes, yes I DID see this shit in theaters! I didn’t really remember anything about this version of the movie, other than Ryan Reynolds was in it and he had a beard and chopped a whole bunch of wood. Apparently I had rated it on Netflix, but while scrambling for haunted house movies to review in time for Halloween, I guess this somehow snuck into the mix. Seriously though, all I remembered was him chopping wood for the whole goddamned movie. Even when I watched it for my second time, I kept thinking, “When is he going to chop some wood?” as well as, “Why did he stop chopping wood?” because ladies love a guy chopping wood with a beard. Well, a beard can’t chop wood, but a guy with a beard can.
I’ll just leave this shirtless, bearded Ryan Reynolds right here to chop some wood. And who says I only post pictures of girls with big boobs?!
George and Kathy Lutz (Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George) are looking for a new home that will be big enough for their family. They stumble across a house that seems to be far too cheap for the size of it, and wonder why they’re getting such a good deal. They learn that a brutal murder had taken place there, and George says something about how houses aren’t evil, people are evil. Once the couple and three kids move into the house, things start getting wacky with some creepy dreams that George has. His financial frustrations, along with all of the maintenance the house needs, start getting to him as he starts lashing out verbally towards the kids and his wife. Curious about the stories involving the house, Kathy researches all of the strange events that have taken place there and learns that there was a cult preacher guy who used to torture and kill Native Americans, and this seems to be the cause of all the problems. As the evil spirits of the house drive George to madness and make him chase his family around with a shotgun, Kathy is able to knock him out and take him away, causing the evil craziness to stop happening. They never returned to their home, not even for their personal belongings, but the house kept finding residents to drive crazy.
The ghost even scared her eyebrows a different color!
I know I’m not too huge a fan of the original movie, but it’s still head and shoulders above this version. The concept of bad things happening somewhere and those events causing someone to go bonkers isn’t all that new, but can still be done well. The reason why the original worked, for me at least, was that it was a slow and subtle transition from James Brolin being a nice family guy to being out of his mind. Ryan Reynolds was believable as a nice family guy, and he was relatively believable as a psychopath, but the transition between the two wasn’t all that smooth. One second he’s boning his wife, the next he’s seeing ghosts and beardedly (is that a word?) yelling at one of the kids for going into the basement. Oh yeah, that’s another thing, which is that this version had the ghosts of people who were murdered appearing to the new residents. The original had weird apparitions and figures, but it was vague who they were and why they were appearing. But I guess that’s one of the problems I had with the original, in that it was vague as far as why the house was evil, whereas I kind of enjoyed the fact that there was an actual reason why this house was so evil. I’m sure there are some people who will argue that adding in that backstory wasn’t necessary, and there were lots of things unnecessary about the movie, but I can at least appreciate the fact that they attempted some sort of explanation for why such terrible things were happening. This one only really needs to be seen if you have a big Ryan Reynolds/beard fetish.
Wolfman Moon Scale