Starring: Gerald Webb, Diahnna Nicole Baxter, Bill Cobbs, Aurora Perrineau, Melvin Gregg
Directed by: Christopher Ray
Written by: James Kondelik
Running Time: 87 Minutes
For some reason there are not a lot of horror films which feature predominantly black casts so when one like “A House is not a Home” comes along it catches a reviewer’s eye with a certain level of interest. Unfortunately, this amateurish, low-budget mess isn’t going to be good for anyone. The film proclaims itself as a combination of Amityville Horror and the exorcist which is kind of like the backup forward for Paducah High comparing himself to LeBron James.
Ben and Linda Williams are shown the home of their dreams by sweet, old real estate salesman, Paul (Bill Cobbs). In a last ditch effort to try and save their troubled marriage they move into the home with their two teenaged children Ashley (Perrineau) and Alex (Gregg). A brief prologue showed how the previous resident played by Richard Greico apparently went crazy and murdered his family, spurred on by some supernatural force in the home.
As soon as they move in they begin to experience various sorts of strange events…loud pounding on their front door; creepy dolls which appear on Ashley’s dresser even after she stuffs them away in a closet; strange shadows that seem to have a life of their own. As in Amityville Horror which Director Christopher Ray desperately tries to channel, the father, Ben, becomes withdrawn and paranoid. He grows obsessed with the weird dining room table that was left behind that has a leathery like surface. In other words its by-the-numbers haunted house fare with some of the worst acting you’ve ever seen, even by low budget horror film standards. In particular the Perrineau and Gregg are incredibly wooden as the two teens that underreact to the right things and overreact to the wrong things.
The parents find nothing strange in the home having an old rotary dial phone that looks like it came from the 1950s even though the home itself appears to be much more modern. And in the end the phone, as well as an old 1950s style radio, play no part in the film’s narrative other than the fact that they seem to be two out of place relics.
Eventually the family finds themselves under attack by an evil force. They reach out to a voodoo priest (whom the kids saw on TV) to come to the house and attempt to exorcise the entity. I bet you can guess how well that goes. Not helping matters is the bottom shelf special effects which are not even up to Syfy channel standards. The only real saving grace to A House is not a Home is the all too brief appearances by savvy character actor veteran Bill Cobbs who has nearly 200 credits under his belt and is always enjoyable.
Auidio Commentary Track from cast and crew
Behind the scenes footage
Interviews with cast and crew