Movie of Good and Bad
When will pretty young couples from the city learn that moving into a big old house in the country will not solve all their problems? In fact, doing so will usually, sometimes literally, be the death of them. In House of Good and Evil, Chris and Maggie Conley have certainly never seen a horror movie.
They do have a compelling reason for escaping the city, though. A traffic jam prevents them from getting to the hospital in time to save Maggie (Rachel Marie Lewis) from a miscarriage. The events leading to the miscarriage are a little fuzzy. They involve a fight between the couple in the movie’s opening moments that we only see (and don’t hear) as voyeurs through their apartment window. However, during the 108-minute running time, we deduce that alcoholism and spousal abuse likely contributed.
If that is the case, which continued fighting throughout the movie seems to indicate, I spent most of House of Good and Evil wondering, “Why in the world do they stay together?” The two are surely more a threat to each other than any secrets of the old house. Even when Maggie is left alone for days at a time while Chris (Christian Oliver) fights a fire two hours away, the scariest thing that happens to her is that she hears a telephone ringing after it’s been made clear there is no service in the area.
That’s the biggest problem in House of Good and Evil: it’s just not scary. Sure, there’s a locked room that sometimes glows red, but when it’s opened, there’s nothing there. Amityville Horror, it’s not. Instead of blood dripping down the walls, there’s (what looks like) a water spot. And instead of a swarm of flies, there’s only one that is easily waved out the window.
There’s a potential difference to the story with the fact that the house has been divided into a duplex. (Really; do they do that to houses way out in the country?) It’s from the other side of the house where the ringing telephone comes. We occasionally see the occupants, an elderly couple awaiting a move to Florida; however, they don’t seem to be much of a threat. Halfway through the movie, I imagined an intriguing outcome for the four characters that could have made House of Good and Evil truly unique.
It goes a different route for its twist, though. While it makes what comes before seem more interesting, it’s ultimately as unoriginal as the rest of the movie. This is going to sound contradictory, but I’m a sucker for an ending that surprises me. It may not be fresh, but I didn’t see it coming; therefore, I kind of liked it. But I did not like the movie in its entirety.
The director, David Mun, has a lengthy resume as Assistant Cameraman, but does nothing here to create mood or suspense. More problematic, though, is the script by Blu de Golyer (Hillbilly Horror Show). There’s only so much mood or suspense that can be created out of nothing. Nevertheless, I see that the two are now filming (and Lewis is again starring in) a movie called The Lycanthropist. I can only hope they’ve learned something from their experience on House of Good and Evil and can give us a more entertaining movie.