New Address but Familiar Premises
9 strangers from different walks of life wake up in a large house having been kidnapped. With no idea of why they are there someone starts speaking over the tanoy who informs them that the house is full of cameras and the last person alive will receive $5,000,000.00. Let the fun and games as well as the flowing alcohol begin.
That is a derivative synopsis for what is in truth a derivative horror movie with a group of people in a big house and someone toying with them whilst watching them on CCTV. Now in fairness it would be easy to say that "House of 9" is just a rip-off of the "Saw" movies but as I understand it this movie was in fact in production before "Saw" hit the big screen in 2004 so if that is true you have to give it some credit. But the "Saw" movies are not the first movies to do the whole strangers in a house set up so I still stand by it being derivative.
But where as some of these comparable horror movies have bite "House of 9" is pretty toothless with ropey character, some ropey acting and to be honest a lack of horror. Maybe its intention was to be more psychological but even then that fails and so it becomes a bit of a mundane meander through a familiar set up. Yes during the third part of the movie things get a bit interesting but that still means you have a lot of familiar territory to walk through before it even gets close to being good.
Part of the trouble is that not only are the group of people not very interesting but it is hard to warm to a single one of them. From a racist rapper, to a selfish party loving girl none of them warrant any sympathy. Even the recognizable stars such as Dennis Hopper, Peter Capaldi and model Kelly Brook do little to draw us into caring for this group especially when in the case of Hopper he gives us the worst Irish accent going.
What this all boils down to is that "House of 9" is a steady little horror movie but one which suffers immensely from using a familiar premise and being weaker than other comparable movies.