House IV was released direct to video in 1992 and would turn out to be the third and final entry into the House series. The film saw the return of Roger Cobb with William Katt reprising his role as the star of the first house movie.
Something worth noting is that this isn’t the same Roger Cobb that we knew from the first film; this is an entirely new Roger all together. This Roger has a wife named Kelly and a daughter named Laurel whereas the other Roger had a son named Jimmy and an ex-wife called Sandy, confused yet? If you think that’s weird, you’re in for one hell of a ride.
Regarding Roger, I just choose to believe that the creators of the film thought it would be cool to get William Katt back as a sort of nod to the original. That does beg the question though; why not just make a direct sequel to the first house film instead of this?
Anyway, it is established that Roger’s father had died at some point and left him in charge of his old house, a house that was very dear to this father. Roger wants to keep the house in the family out of respect to his dad but Roger’s brother Burke (Scott Burkholder) wants to buy the house through his company so it can be knocked down and the land can be used for something more profitable.
Roger rejects Burke’s offer and soon after drives away from the house with his family with the intention of heading home. On the way, the Cobb’s get into a horrific accident which leaves Roger in seriously bad shape and his daughter confined to a wheelchair. Kelly Cobb (Terri Treas) is then forced into making the tough choice of turning off Roger’s life support, which she does. Roger Cobb is dead which does nothing but to make you realise just how pointless it was having him back in the first place.
Kelly makes the rash decision of selling her house so she can go and move into the old Cobb house which is located literally in the middle of nowhere. Kelly and her daughter settle into the house but it’s not long before Kelly begins to have nightmares regarding the choice she made over Roger’s life support, the house is tormenting her.
Knowing that Kelly is vulnerable, Burke attempts to get her to sell him the house but Kelly turns him down too. It turns out that Burke and his two mentally challenge associates work for a weird type of Mafia that deal in Toxic waste and they wish to use the house as a dumping site.
Supernatural events continue to occur for Kelly, she has a vision of her daughter Laurel being pulled inside her bed so she decides to stab the shit out of it until she realises that she is standing over Laurel’s bed holding a knife about to stab her. She gets a message on the bathroom window telling her to “get out or die” so all in all it’s pretty damn clear that the house just doesn’t want her around.
One of the strangest moments in the film happens in what many would call the infamous talking/singing pizza scene….
After discovering an ancient Indian tome of some kind, Kelly consults the local native Indian spiritual guide. After explaining to her how he feels about the white man, he then goes on to tell her that Roger is trapped in the house and that the spirits are trying to tell her that he had died in a suspicious way. Ohhh right, so that’s what they meant when they had her nearly stab her daughter and that’s what they meant when they told her to “get out or die”. Kelly sure is stupid for thinking the house had some kind of problem with her staying there because it turns out that the spirits don’t want her to leave, they just want to help her.
After more seriously strange scenes involving Burke and the Mafia, Kelly has a vision which confirms what was plainly obvious. It was Burke who had the wheel of Roger’s car shot which caused the crash and ultimately Roger’s death. One thing I found very confusing is that we see Burke making a call to the police reporting the crash right after its taken place. Why the hell is he even calling the police at all? You can safely assume that he wanted to kill Roger, Kelly and Laurel so why is he so eager to call for medical aide? I’ll tell you why; because he’s a complete idiot.
Burke’s associates cause a fire in the basement of the house and the whole thing goes up in a huge blaze with Laurel and Kelly trapped inside. Burke is outside of the house celebrating the fact that the house will burn down and then he can finally get what he wants. For whatever reason though, he is the one that calls the fire department, so he wants to stop the house from burning down now, eh?
Anyway, a huge spring of “healing water” explodes out of the basement tablet which puts out the fires, cures Laurel’s legs etc. Burke is tricked by the house into making a confession to the police and Roger is seen once last time appearing as a policeman until he beams up into the sky presumably off to heaven or something.
So, that’s house IV and well I guess you could say that it’s not so bad…. Actually no, it is bad.
The house in this film actually looks pretty decent and if it had been utilized differently it could have been creepy. The first two House movies managed to blend Horror and comedy very successfully, sure it had its funny moments but it had its scary moments too. House IV is neither scary nor funny but it’s trying to be both and failing at every attempt. It’s not even so bad that it’s good to be honest because any of its good ideas are clearly ripped from better movies.
The acting is pretty decent and there are some alright looking effects but the plot is just garbage. Why are Burke and the mafia so dead set on using the house as a dumping site that they are willing to risk it all? Is there some reason that they couldn’t just use somewhere else or what?
What even was the point of bringing Roger back only to have him die within the first 10 minutes?
The Horror Show is a much better movie than House IV and yet House IV is remembered and the Horror Show is not, that needs to change.
House IV is garbage, if you really can’t find something else to watch then you might find it’s clichéd cheesiness entertaining as it does at least have the feel of a low budget 80s horror movie which gives it something. It does have some very weird moments that may just be worth seeing but that don’t make them any good.
House IV: The Repossession