By: Henry J. Fromage (Five Beers) –
House of the Disappeared is about probably what you might infer it is from the title- a house where people disappear, when they’re not getting murdered, attacked by ghosts, etc. Lost’s Kim Yunjin is at the center of it all as a woman who was imprisoned for ostensibly murdering her family, but is released as an old woman with numbered days. She returns back to the house to see if she can somehow reconnect with her son, who disappeared so many years ago.
Well, it’s always good seeing Kim Yunjin again. Also, in what has come to be an interesting trend, the traditional Korean occult scene is by far the highlight, with a pretty creepy surprise that feels like it should be in a better film.
Jump scares. So many jump scares…
But seriously, so many fucking jump scares.
House of the Disappeared feels like it’s cobbled together from every other horror movie that’s come out in the last 20 years. There’s feng shui experts instead of ghost hunters, those jump scares, a priest, the score telling you when it’s time to get scared, creaky/creepy old houses, creepy herky-jerky Japanese women etc, etc. It’s all so… expected.
The principal crime is it’s just boring. The plot jumps around and stops and starts so much that it can’t develop a consistent rhythm, and since you’ve already seen this movie before several times, it just doesn’t hold interest very well.
When the film does very belatedly decide to do something original, it’s such a bizarrely convoluted twist that it can’t help but capture your attention finally, but it’s too little, too late (and too much a head-scratcher).
House of the Disappeared doesn’t bring much new to the horror genre. Unless you’re some kind of horror completist, avoid.
House of the Disappeared (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every flashback
Take a Drink: whenever a kid has a creepy look on their face
Take a Drink: every time the score starts freaking out
Do a Shot: for ga-ga-ga-ghosts!