House II: The Second Story

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 11


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,387
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Movie Info

The evil dwelling from the first House film becomes the residence of a young couple who move in, only to battle the Aztec ghosts who already reside there.

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Critic Reviews for House II: The Second Story

All Critics (11)

  • House II doesn't even have much true horror, and the stuff we do get is decidedly tame in contrast to the rest of the series.

    May 2, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • House II doesn't quite have anything similar to the strong performance of the original's Bill Katt anchoring the picture, but it still has plenty to make it a worthwhile follow-up that's definitely worth watching.

    Dec 14, 2017 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…
  • If fewer critics were to decry how bad it is, this in-name-only sequel would succumb to the obscurity it deserves.

    Nov 23, 2003 | Rating: 1/5
  • ...apparently there's a rule that these House flicks have to feature a star of Cheers, because instead of George Wendt, John Ratzenberger (he played know-it-all mailman Cliff Clavin) pops up as a mysterious handyman.

    Feb 24, 2003 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • If nothing else, one of the great titles for a sequel

    Sep 7, 2002 | Rating: 2/5
  • A goofy, lightweight, paper-thin, schizophrenic mess.

    Aug 8, 2002 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for House II: The Second Story

  • Oct 13, 2016
    The horror fest would not be complete without an 80s horror movie, though, if we're being completely honest, this isn't even close to being a horror movie. At least in the conventional sense. I watched the original House and, while I didn't give it a good score, but it was a really goofy little movie. One that I enjoyed in spite of it not necessarily being the best at combining comedy and horror. I imagine that the first film started out as a conventional horror movie and as the film was being written, they just sort of hit on the goofier aspects of the film and they thought 'you know, why don't we go with that?' And it worked, because if that movie had been just a straight-up horror flick, it might not have been as good. The comedy gave it a silliness to it that was certainly infectious. Which brings us to the sequel. What can I even say about House 2: The Second Story? Other than the title is clever as shit. It's like they looked at the first film and how, in their minds, it was so fun to make and how it led to a cult movie that they decided to take the sequel and pretty much go insane with the goofiness. One of the symptoms of sequelitis. There has to be more of absolutely everything. They take something that worked and turn it up to 100. And boy, does it not work in this movie. Like at all. I think they just used it to overcompensate for the fact that they really couldn't come up with a legitimately good idea for a sequel. They were like, let's just throw whatever idea we have out there without actually bothering to come up with a reason for why everything is happening. Jesse's great-great-grandfather comes into play and so does this crystal skull that, apparently, everybody wants. Do they tell you why everybody wants it? No, not really. Gramps says that it can make him young again, but they never actually explain how or why it would do that. I guess they don't have to explain why, since the skull being active allows Jesse and Charlie to enter different ages, like the Stone Age or an era when the Aztecs were still around. But the how was definitely essential. They just don't. And what's even worse is the fact that the goofiness is so fucking forceful. This is the film equivalent of an attention whore, doing whatever they can to get your attention. It, honestly, might have worked back in 1987. But in 2016, when you've seen everything under the sun, this comes off as a little weak in comparison. It just doesn't feel natural, whereas the goofy aspects of the first film did come out of nowhere, but they also fit into the context of the movie. This one, being a sequel, doesn't have that. The acting isn't very good, but that's not the biggest problem about this, which I have already mentioned. There's some comically bad scenes, like you can see the hand of the person controlling some of the puppets. Swords bend like plastic when pressed down against an altar in the Aztec temple. But those are some of the few moments when the film is funny, whether unintentional or not. So, yea, this is just a bad movie and I can't really find much positive to say about this in the slightest. Humor is forceful, there's no real reason for everything that's going on and the acting is lackluster, outside of a fun John Ratzenberger appearance. Just not very good, even by cheesy 80s horror movie standards.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2013
    Steve Miner made a fun little horror film in 1986 by the name of House. A year later, House II: The Second Story would appear. Like the first film, it has a tongue in cheek approach to the material, and it doesn't take itself seriously. Unfortunately, this film is inferior to the first and it lacks the charm that the original delivered. Nonetheless, this is a decent affair, but is never anything remarkable either. The scares are mild and it plays out like a so-so horror comedy. The film could have been better, but the first one wasn't excellent either. Despite the film's flaws, it is entertaining for what it is, and fans of the first should enjoy this one as well. Acting wise, Jonathan Stark gives a good performance here, but he we was much better in Fright Night. The film had potential of being a great sequel, but in the end it's a decent one at best. Towards the middle of the film, it does get a bit silly and it becomes a bit flat in terms of effective horror comedy. Overall it's mildly amusing film that's worth seeing if you enjoy mindless movies. Director Ethan Wiley's direction leaves a lot to be desired, and despite the flaws, he manages to make something watchable. However it is not as fun as the first House, and this one could have been much better too. The script lacks at times, and it does feel rushed, but this a film to watch if you have nothing else better to do. The actors do what they can with the lacking material, they make it amusing for the viewer looking for a decent horror comedy to watch.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2012
    The sequels to House just seem to go further and further from the from the first movie, and this was the first big step away. This movie is a ridiculous, somewhat funny, western infused, sci-fi adventure movie that takes place in a haunted house. It wasn't at all what I expected, but not in a good way. I would not recommend this silly movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2012
    Like the first film this remains inside the haunted house theme with two young males battling all manner of ghouls and monsters but heads down the horror comedy route. If you think along the lines of 'Army of Darkness' then you get an idea what I mean. The only difference here is its not an adult horror comedy but much lighter. But contrary to what you might think this film is actually better than the first in my opinion. The old mansion appears to be an ancient Mayan temple with gateways to other dimensions that is somehow protected or kept in line by a crystal skull. Said skull is supposedly buried with one of the boys great great grandfather sooooo off they go to dig him up. Long story short 'Gramps' the zombie befriends them and helps them defend the skull from the forces of evil, oh and they gotta save the girlfriend who gets kidnapped of course. It all sounds like a kids cartoon but trust me its really quite good fun. The boys end up going into some prehistoric world with dinosaurs to get the skull after its pinched, they battle Mayan tribesmen, save a Mayan Princess, adopt a baby pterodactyl and a weird caterpillar dog thing plus there's the evil cowboy zombie gunslinger also after the skull. It all sounds surreal but like other 80's fluff it looks great with some nice hokey effects that make you smile. There is also some pretty good makeup and prosthetics again with 'Gramps' the zombie and 'Slim Razor' the zombie plus some great kooky sets that look like something out of the 'Addams Family' TV show. I also really liked the cast in this too. Johnathan Stark is great as the lippy wise ass best friend of Arye Gross. Both guys really click together and make a formidable 80's duo just like Makepeace and Rusler in 'Vamp'. Stark actually reminds me of an early Jim Carrey with his haircut and looks, Arye is a regular face for this era as was Bill Maher. Kudos to John Ratzenberger who has easily one of the best parts I've seen for some time, he is the 'Electrician and Adventurer', always ready to battle alternate dimensions at the drop of a hat. I loved the way he Coolly remarks that he deals with this kind of stuff all the time and always ready with his sword (kept hidden in his toolbox). Yep its utterly off the wall but its a great light-hearted horror comedy with some really good 'Indy' type adventure with monsters and zombies...albeit in a very cheesy tacky way.
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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