Graphically Speaking: House of Fallen review

House of Fallen

Written and Directed by Robert Stephens
Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Corbin Bernsen, Michael Wincott
Rated R for violence and some language

An opening blurb tells us that when God created mankind, he sent the Grigori, the 8th order of angels to watch us.  Instead, they taught humans all about greed, lust, war, and the other joys of Call Of Duty multiplayer.  Really though, they were evil. So God sent a flood to wipe them out.  He didn’t get all of them.  However, mankind is protected by The Twelve.  A group of people who “watch the Watchers.”

The film follows several plotlines, including following Thomas (C. Thomas Howell), a former priest asked to do an exorcism. Not just ANY exorcism, mind you.  Thomas has to get rid of one of the Grigori. Elsewhere, the mysterious Rowland (Corbin Bernsen) appears to explain the secrets to the Grigori to an inquisitive mortal (and the audience). Finally, we have the story of a bunch of people in a dark house dealing with a supernatural force they don’t yet comprehend.  There’s something in the house that the Grigori want and they’ll kill to get it.

So we have three promising set-ups, but none of them are pulled off well.  Rowland is just an exposition machine.  He rattles off stories and facts in a library that holds the secrets of the angels, where he spends about 99% of the movie.  Thomas’ face off with the angel is genuinely creepy.  You can almost see the beast writing beneath the face of his host. This is diminished later, however, when the angel…calls him on the phone…really?

It’s obvious that the film’s budget was tiny, but low budgets are no excuse for having little or no imagination.  This film is mostly people talking while lame, emotionless music plays in the background.  The scenes are awkward, the dialogue is clunky (“I don’t know!” “Then don’t bring it up!”), and worst of all, it reminds us of several, better religious horror movies.  Bernsen and Howell manage to get away unscathed, despite looking like they don’t want to be there. I have to give the filmmakers credit for a decent idea, but the execution is something to be desired.  You’re better off renting the underrated Constantine.

Released on DVD today, House of Fallen is based on the Book of Enoch, a book of the Bible that was removed for reasons we can only speculate about.

Posted on August 23, 2011 at 19:25 by Lowell Greenblatt · Permalink
In: Uncategorized