Main cast: Corri English (Samantha), Sandra McCoy (Hailey), Michael J Pagan (Devon), Corey Sevier (Carter), Alice Greczyn (Candice), Eliot Benjamin (Zane), and Kelvin Clayton (Hamadi)
Director: Ryan Little
House of Fears is a pretty typical teenage slasher flick. Two stepsisters and their four friends decide to sneak into a local haunted house attraction that will only open on Halloween, the day after. Little do they know that the house contains an ancient statue that can make these kids’ phobias come true. Amusingly enough, none of these kids have a phobia of starring in a cheap low-budget horror flick. And that’s about it for the plot as the movie becomes a marathon to see which kid will die first.
The cast is mostly pretty faces to be killed off, with very little character development. In fact, I have a vague idea that Samantha is one of the two stepsisters, and that’s pretty much the extent of my recalling of the cast.
Still, I didn’t watch this movie for deep drama. Unfortunately, the scares are not present in sufficient amount to make up for the cardboard characters. A big problem here is that the movie is more ambitious than its budget would allow, and that really shows in scenes that end up failing miserably due to cheap special effects. It also doesn’t help that some of the phobias translate to deaths that are more funny than chilling, especially that phobia of demon dogs (really). Even claustrophobia, potentially the phobia that the audience can relate most to, is poorly handled here – the death scene for that one is really lame even for a low budget flick.
House of Fears tries very hard, but it just doesn’t make it even halfway to the finish line, I’m afraid. There are much better movies of this nature available for rental, so I don’t know why anyone would opt for this one over those movies. It’s not scary enough to work as a horror flick.