House III (The Horror Show) (1989)
Trailer-House II; House IV
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Aurora
|Year Of Production||1989|
|Running Time||90:12 (Case: 95)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
Beyond Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Gone are the silly looking zombie/monsters from the first film, and also gone is ‘Gramps’ and the silly looking puppet zombie/monsters from the second. This time around, Detective Lucas McCarthy (Lance Henriksen) and his family reside in the house. Lucas has been pursuing, and finally puts away serial killer Max Jenke (Brion James), who is to be given the chair. In perhaps one of the film’s best, and certainly one the most graphic scenes, Max seems to overpower the ‘chair’, and even manages to get up and walk out of it, to tell Lucas (who is watching the execution) that he will get him for this. After finally dying, Max takes residence in the McCarthy’s basement, and begins to exact revenge on the man that put him away. Sound familiar? That’s because it mimics the plot of Wes Craven’s Shocker which, interestingly, was released the same year as The Horror Show. I don’t know which one was written first, but Shocker was actually released some six months after The Horror Show. Both films are mediocre in my opinion, but Craven’s was definitely more popular.
Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the serious tone and increased gore in The Horror Show didn’t save the ‘House’ franchise, which is to be expected. Predictable and full of clichés, this quasi-sequel should not have been associated with the first film, as it bears no resemblance other than the house. In fact, this sequel has even less to do with the original film than House II . My only hope for a decent sequel rests with the fourth film now, which looks to be the worst in the series. My fingers are crossed...
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that like its prequels, House III (The Horror Show) is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced – not Pan & Scan as advertised.
Sharpness is not perfect, and is too soft at times - even exhibiting a smoky haze here and there. But to contrast that, a few shots exhibit some nice detail. A bit of a mixed bag actually. Shadow detail and black levels were quite strong, and were a step up from the prequels. Very light grain was present throughout most of the film's running time, which is nothing to worry about.
Colours were good for the entire film, appearing to be the strongest out of the 'House' series of films so far.
MPEG artefacts seemed non-existent, and light film artefacts such as dirt, hairs and scratches appeared only occasionally throughout. They never stood out enough to become distracting, and were to be expected due to the age of the print.
We are given the choice of watching House III (The Horror Show) with a very loud Dolby Digital 5.1 track or in Dolby Digital 2.0. I predominantly watched the film in 5.1, switching to 2.0 at certain times throughout. I would go with the 5.1 track, as the 2.0 was not quite as clear.
Dialogue was fairly clear overall, never distorting or becoming unintelligible. The quality of the audio was better than that on first two discs, and the volume levels were not as unbearable. There were no problems with audio sync at all throughout the entire running time.
The score by Harry Manfredini was actually the best part of the soundtrack, as it was supported nicely by all channels, with some satisfactory low-end. Harry lifted his game a bit for this film, putting in his best work so far within the 'House' series.
Surround channel usage is where the main problem occurs with the 5.1 mix. The channels are quite active, but it is the actual placement of sound effects that is poorly mixed. Any sound effect, such as footsteps or a door opening, that should only be mixed to the centre and/or front channels is heard coming from all speakers. It appears that every element of the soundtrack, except for dialogue, has been spliced into 5 separate mono tracks. There is no directionality in the surrounds, and it was quite disappointing overall.
The subwoofer had a bit more work to do for this film, but it was still best used to support the film's score.
|Surround Channel Use|
The exact same trailer as on the first two discs. It's weird that this trailer is on all 3 discs so far, but the trailers for the first or third films are nowhere to be found.
The same trailer as on the first two discs.
The main menu consists of a shot of the house from the film, which is frequently struck by lightning. Rain and thunder supports the animation, with the same eerie sounds and screams from the first film's main menu. The film's title is to the left of the house, in a flashing animated font.
One of the more bland Dolby Digital trailers, although it is one of my favourites.
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NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video transfer is quite good for its age.
The audio transfer is a bit disappointing, due to a poor surround mix.
The extra features are identical to the other discs in the box.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Teac 82cm 16x9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||5 Sony speakers; Sherwood 12" 100w Powered Subwoofer|