The House franchise began life back in 1986 with Steve Miner’s original, and 1992’s House IV: The Possession brought this cult favourite genre series to a conclusion. Returning the narrative to that of a mysterious old house – following House III’s focus on a back-from-the-dead serial killer – let’s see if The Possession is a worthy close for this franchise.
Bringing back William Katt as the original movie’s Roger Cobb, the movie opens with him and his family – wife Kelly (Terri Treas) and daughter Laurel (Melissa Clayton) – exploring their old and spooky family home. When tragedy strikes and Roger is killed in a car accident, Kelly decides to move in to the abode and make it the new home for her and her daughter. Unfortunately for her, Roger’s no-good step-brother Burke (Scott Burkholder) is desperate to seize the house as his own in order to knock it down and to make a quick buck. Of course, while this conflict is ongoing, the house itself begins to make its own thoughts clear as strange happenings begin to play out on an increasingly frequent basis.
While House III never truly felt anything like a House movie – as highlighted by the fact that it was initially developed and pegged as a standalone non-House picture, even released as one in the US – House IV is a splendid return to what we’ve come to expect from the franchise. Additionally, it’s also the only sequel that acts as a quasi follow-up to the 1986 original, as shown by the return of Katt’s Roger. Things do get a tad murky on that front, mind, for the house focussed on in the first film and this one are in vastly different locations while supposedly being one and the same. Similarly, Roger’s wife and son of the first movie have been replaced by a new wife and daughter this time out. Still, given the oft-bonkers antics at play in the House franchise, we can just about let this all of this slide.
Going back to the roots of the series, The Repossession is a fitting way to bring the House franchise to a conclusion, embracing the humour, charm and family-friendly scares that put this series on the map for genre fans in the first place.
In terms of bonus content, the audio commentary from Lewis Abernathy is a fun and fascinating chat track, but it’s the new Home Deadly Home documentary that’s easily the standout of the special features as it brings all of the movie’s key players together to look back on the film. Like the recent new Blu-ray releases of House, House II: The Second Story and House III: The Horror Show, this release of House IV: The Possession is indeed the same as the one included on this year’s House: The Complete Collection boxset, and this new standalone release is the perfect way to pick up the fitting closing chapter of the series should you have missed said boxset.
Special Features: Audio commentary / Home Deadly Home: The Making of House IV documentary / Trailer / Stills gallery
HOUSE IV: THE REPOSSESSION / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: LEWIS ABERNATHY / SCREENPLAY: DEIRDRE HIGGINS, GEOF MILLER / STARRING: TERRI TREAS, SCOTT BURKHOLDER, MELISSA CLAYTON, DENNY DILLON, WILLIAM KATT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW4