Plot: What’s it about?
An eerie old mansion is the new residence of nine strangers, but these folks didn’t move in and in truth, they have no clue how they arrived. When the nine wake up, they realize they’re not at home anymore, but instead find themselves in a deserted mansion, a very creepy one at that. The people in the mansion are a varied lot, from a police officer to a rap star and from a hot socialite to an Irish priest. The group has no idea what has happened, but they do know they’re locked inside the mansion. An intercom soon booms and informs them that five million dollars awaits one of them, but the prize won’t be easy to collect. The voice tells them that the last person alive will be released from the mansion, with the five million dollars in tow. All nine balk at first, but tension begins to mount when no other escape seems possible. Will those inside start to drop like flies, or will they stick together and figure out a way to exit the mansion alive?
This is another in the line of “reality television gone bad” movies, which explore what could happen if these shows involved a sadistic killer. So we take the basic premise of reality television, which puts a bunch of strangers into intimate situations together, then add in the old Ten Little Indians gimmick. Kind of like Survivor, only instead of being voted off, you’re killed off. I didn’t expect much from House of 9, which is perhaps why I had a more than decent time with this release. Then again, when Dennis Hopper puts on the worst accent ever filmed, it is hard not to have fun. In truth, the most brutal murder found in House of 9 is how Hopper butchers an Irish accent. The film has some hot ladies and while the blood doesn’t run like wine, there are some decent splashes of crimson and passable death scenes. If you’re a horror movie nut and need a rental, House of 9 is a good choice, but keep your expectations low.
Video: How does it look?
House of 9 is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The image here is top shelf, but keep in mind, the visuals have a bleak, dark presence. So this isn’t your standard slick, bright presentation, but the transfer is terrific and upholds the visual design. The detail level is excellent, with great depth and clarity, much sharper than I had anticipated. The colors are not vivid, but this is intentional and the cold, but powerful hues come across just as they should. The contrast is well handled also, with accurate black levels and no visible detail loss. A great transfer all around, so kudos to Visual Entertainment.
Audio: How does it sound?
The movie sounds great too, thanks to an active and immersive Dolby Digital 5.1 option. The first thing you’ll notice is the bass, which kicks often and deep. Not just in the music either, the subwoofer is put to good use and that is a welcome presence. The surrounds more than keep also, adding atmosphere that helps put a little more punch on scares. A movie like this needs to keep you on edge and thanks the surrounds, there is good presence when needed. The bulk of the soundtrack is dialogue, but when it needs to, the audio kicks up things a notch or two. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s trailer.