House IV: The Repossesion is the final of the four House movies which were released, and as well as a return to the franchise for William Katt, it also features Denny Dillon, who Dream On fans will remember as Martin Tupper’s put-upon secretary Toby Pedalbee.
Now, Roger Cobb has a wife and daughter, but hands up who’s spooked by Ezra (Ned Romero), their Indian spirit guide… Ah, everyone? Good! Glad it’s not just me, since it’s not long before you find one big fat reason not to trust him as far as you could throw him.
This entry in the series takes us back to the original dwelling, and following an altercation in the car, daughter Laurel (Melissa Clayton) is confined to a wheelchair. Sadly, it takes about 40 minutes before we get to any ‘creature feature’ effects, and despite House III: The Horror Show trying to reboot the franchise, House IV went the straight-to-video route. That said, The Horror Show wasn’t officially a House movie…, which makes this one the third, but the producers chose to rename it House IV to avoid confusion. I am confused.dom!
Meanwhile, Roger’s brother, Burke (Scott Burkholder), wants to buy the big house and bury a load of toxic waste under it, but it’s difficult to do that if the place is occupied and no-one wants to sell.
Alas, there’s not very much Denny Dillon, and even less William Katt (hence why he’s at the end of the opening credits, i.e. “…and William Katt”), so they’ve already shot their two best bolts.
House IV is as big a mess as the way the house in question ends up, and I can’t really recommend this one as a movie to watch, but… if you’ve seen the first three, you just have to watch this one to finish it off. It’s like it starts to touch on what made the other movies worth a watch, but then doesn’t do a lot else, making it feel like a missed opportunity.
That said, one plus is that two cuts to the pre-Arrow versions of this, totalling seven seconds, are restored in this release, and I presume it’s the same with their 4-movie collection that was released earlier this year. They’re both in the shower scene, and you can see more details at Movie-Censorship.com, but understand that these are spoilers!! (Okay, if you just want to see nudity, then click on that link)
Oddly, the film finishes at 1:33:35, but the print still carries on until 1:35:11. I’ve never seen an Arrow title do that before, nor from any other distributor, come to think of it.
The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition, and for a straight-to-video title, despite being shot in 35mm like all the other three, it feels softer than the others.
The audio options include a new DTS HD-MA 5.1 soundtrack, but, similar to House III, while Arrow have fixed the ‘wandering dialogue’ with this one, I struggled to tell any difference from a basic stereo soundtrack.
The extras are as follows:
- Home Deadly Home (29:24): with director Lewis Abernathy, producer Sean S Cunningham, stars Terri Treas and William Katt, actor/stuntman Kane Hodder and composer Harry Manfredini. This is done in the same style as the over-an-hour ‘making of’ extras on the first two movies, so it makes you wonder why no-one did this for No.3. Again, for these, there’s no subtitles nor chapters.
- Stills Gallery (3:26): Pics aplenty with one approx every five seconds.
- Trailer (1:50): In 4:3, and it gives an early spoiler which I haven’t even mentioned.
- Audio commentary: David Gregory from Blue Underground talks with director Lewis Abernathy.
And while I just received a check disc for this movie, the one you buy will also include a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn.
The main menu features a short piece of the score set to clips from the film, there’s a bog-standard 12 chapters and subtitles are in English.
Running time: 94 mins
Distributor: Arrow Films
Released: December 11th 2017
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (35 mm)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Lewis Abernathy
Producer: Sean S Cunningham
Screenplay: Geof Miller and Deirdre Higgins (based on a story by Geof Miller, Deirdre Higgins, Jim Wynorski and RJ Robertson)
Music: Harry Manfredini
Kelly Cobb: Terri Treas
Roger Cobb: William Katt
Burke: Scott Burkholder
Verna Klump: Denny Dillon
Laurel Cobb: Melissa Clayton
Dad: Dabbs Greer
Ezra: Ned Romero
Lee: Ned Bellamy
Charles: John Santucci
Mr. Grosso: Mark Gash
Plumber: Paul Keith
Nurse: Annie O’Donnel
Doctor: Judith Jordan
Pizza Man: Kevin Goetz
Yardsale Man: Steve Vinovich
Yardsale Woman: Carolyn Mignani
Seraphina: Rebecca Rocheford
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.