House II: The Second Story (1987)

house ii the second story poster 1987 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 4/10

Not much

Bad but not so-bad-it-is-good

Movie Info

Movie Name:   House II:  The Second Story

Studio:  New World Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Comedy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  August 28, 1987

MPAA Rating:   PG-13

house ii the second story gramps royal dano

What this horror story needs is more cowboy ghosts…or not

Jesse (Arye Gross) and his girlfriend Kate (Lar Park Lincoln) have just inherited Jesse’s family estate.  When Jesse and his friend Charlie (Jonathan Stark) unearth Jesse’s cursed great-great grandfather “Gramps” (Royal Dano), Jesse and Charlie discover that Gramps is being followed by a curse.  Gramps possesses a crystal skull and the crystal skull is being hunted by Slim Reeser (Dean Cleverdon) who will stop at nothing to get it.  As Jesse’s life begins to fall apart, adventure and horror await!

Directed by Ethan Wiley, House II:  The Second Story is a supernatural horror-comedy (with more focus on comedy).  Following House in 1985, the movie was critically panned.

I was a fair-weather fan of House and only really remember House II from the advertisements.  Watching House II wasn’t a fun trip back to the ’80s…it was a painful trip back to cheap horror comedies that milked a PG-13 rating in the hopes of a bigger audience.

house ii the second story bill maher arye gross lar park lincoln

It is time to get Politically Incorrect!

House went to off-the-wall horror while House II replaced it with almost like an Indiana Jones type adventure.  The story shares no characters from the original House and only has a house with doorways to different worlds and times.  You get a dull Wild West adventure combined  with dinosaur creatures and with Aztecs and a crystal skull…I guess it should have foreshadowed the disappoint of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The cast is also bland.  The highlight of the crew would probably be veteran actor Royal Dano as Gramps with Arye Grosse and Lar Park Lincoln as the yuppies.  Jonathan Stark plays the “best friend” who’s wild and Amy Yasbeck is his girlfriend.  The movie also features Bill Maher as a slimy boss of Lar Park Lincoln’s character with John Ratzenberger as the comic relief (like his Cheers costar George Wendt served as in the original movie).

house ii the second story aztec sacrifice

…oooo the horror of sacrifices.

While some of the creature designs (like the original movie) are creative, they are largely derivative of other ’80s Muppet-like creatures and creatures.  The first movie went for horror and monsters while this movie has ghosts, cute creatures, and dinosaurs.

House II:  The Second Story is kind of a miserable movie.  It isn’t scary, it isn’t funny, and it isn’t so-bad-it-is-good.  There are much worse movies than House II, but in its mediocrity, House II fails harder than a really bad movie.  House II:   The Second Story was followed by a sequel called The Horror Show (in the United States) before returning to the traditional title House IV in 1992.

Related Links:

House (1985)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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