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Cherry Pop

'House of Fallen'
(Corbin Bernsen, C. Thomas Howell, Richard Fullerton, et al / DVD / NR / (2008) 2011 / Phase 4 Films)

Overview: The Watchers, a group of fallen angels, walk amongst the earth disguised as humans, torturing their vessels. In the hunt for prophetic truth, three strangers are put on trial for their past sins, and are forced to fight for survival in the face of an ancient evil. But in the war between heaven and hell, how do you kill what is already dead?

DVD Verdict: In truth, neither the Overview written above, the claims made on the back cover of the DVD, or the actual film made any sense to me - even after watching it! I was bemused at the trilogy of plots that opened up before me, lost count of the times that when someone's name was mentioned that I couldn't picture that character in my mind, and even gently nodded off for 10 minutes midway!

Sure it got better in the final third, but man, the acting and dialogue in general for this film is simply low brow horrid. There's no beating around the bush here for it's that bad. And quite why Corbin Bernsen (obviously on hiatus from the second season of 'Burn Notice' at that time) and C. Thomas Howell (who plays a character here named, yup, Thomas!) decided to sign on is beyond me too!

A paycheck film, sure, I can see that, but these such films stick with you, and your fans, trust me! As for C. Thomas Howell himself, the man (back in 2008 when this was filmed) was looking gaunt, very frail, and carried on his face a monster goatee that could quite easily have come with its own pet name!

With sentences like "You can either continue the path you're on, praying for those beyond help, or you can join me. I will teach you how to hunt and kill a fallen angel" abounding throughout, 'House of Fallen' (basically) follows three sub plots: A house full of bank robbers just waiting to turn the gun on each other, a man possessed by the Devil himself, and a young man stuck in a beach getaway dreamscape/nightmare!

A so-called religious-horror movie at its core, there are no real shocks, but there is enough bad acting to spread the wealth. Save for two: the young man who is trying to be saved by Corbin Bernsen's character Roland, William Gregory Lee as Brooks; and Marc Gable as Brian, the man possessed. They, at the very least, slide out of this mess with some acting chop dignity.

For the first 20 minutes of the movie C. Thomas Howell's character keeps saying he's sorry - over and over and over - and from then on in I kept saying it to myself for having to watch 'House of Fallen' all the way to its dead end conclusion! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.