Having wasted my best line about this in a Twitter exchange with the excellent HorrorHoneys – “House of the Dead 2 makes House of the Dead look like Dawn of the Dead” – I found myself with not tons to say about this movie. It exists, and that’s about it.
Uwe Boll had nothing to do with this one, and the main way you can tell is it’s gone from crazy to boring. The one and only thing about “House of the Dead” (games and first film) is that they never let up. You kill a lot of zombies, pause to have the barest minimum of plot, then kill more zombies. This has, after a wildly sexist “raid the sorority house” opening, some scientists and a group of army guys trying to make their way through a school campus to get to the lab where the professor apparently started this particular zombie outbreak, but taking their sweet time about it.
There are a couple of fun scenes as we’re introduced to the characters. Main scientists / agents Emmanuelle Vaugier and Ed Quinn establish their flirty relationship early on, and then the army people are sketched out (including Victoria Pratt from “Mutant X”). Nothing spectacular, but competent, and done relatively briefly; and the way the “antidote” MacGuffin becomes important for different reasons to everyone is a nice basic bit of storytelling. It’s just everything else that’s the problem.
There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. I lost count of the number of times people had blood from zombies splash onto their face with zero ill effects; yet a zombie-mosquito bite is enough to finish one guy off. Our main people run through huge crowds of zombies and don’t get bitten, as if all of a sudden our walking dead friends suddenly forgot how to do it (yet there’s other scenes where one zombie finishes off several people). Worst of all is the pacing. We come to a crescendo of sorts at 1:10, so I was quite happy that the experience would be over quicker than anticipated. But it just keeps going, and the ending is just the previous 15 minutes of the movie, sort of repeated. It’s weird. And bad.
Worse than movies that are terrible are movies where there’s no real reason for them to exist. It’s a sequel to a computer game movie, made by people who (I’d hazard a guess) never played or even saw any of the games it was based on; it just feels sloppy, like they couldn’t be bothered outside of a few key scenes. Leave this off your Uwe Boll bad movie night playlist, because people will be falling asleep.
Rating: thumbs down