Bless this House
Try picturing a film that attempts to combine
elements of the old Cary Grant comedy Mr Blandings Builds his Dream House
and the horror film Poltergeist and with a dash of Doby Gillis and
you get a sense of this film. Admittedly, this film is not even remotely
as good as any of these but its still an interesting effort at mixing
these diverse genres. This family film is actually fairly middling as the
comedy is pretty bland while the horror aspects are decent at best. Considering
the talent behind the camera Ronnie Yu directing and Fruit Chan as the
Asst. Director - one might expect much more.
Both Bill Tung and Loletta Lee starred in a number
of these family pictures in the 80s (sometimes together) in such fare
as Its a Mad Mad Mad World, Merry Christmas, Happy Ghost and Double Fattiness.
Loletta was sort of the Sandra Dee of her time playing sweet perky daughter
types. Of course in the 90s, she made a radical image change by performing
in Category III films like Girls Unbutton and Sex and Zen II. But those
days were still years off in the future and in this film she is perfectly
innocent and adorable.
Bill Tung is an architect and as a reward for
twenty years of good service his company awards him a large and lovely
house on the outskirts of town. He soon moves in along with his wife and
two daughters. There is of course a catch. The house is in bad shape with
holes in the walls and in the floor and every time they try to fix it
up something else falls apart - but the family bands together to try
and get in back into ship shape.
Odd things begin happening strange sounds in
the night, moving plants, blood running down the walls and a scary wild
one-eyed man warning them to move out before it is too late. The family
of course ignores all these signs and keeps fixing up the house. When Bill
becomes possessed though Loletta hires a Taoist priest (no not Lam Ching-Ying
unfortunately!) to exorcise any ghosts but a possessed Hoover vacuum
cleaner soon chases him out of the house.
They find out that the previous owners died in
a fire and their ghosts seem to need to kill them in order to reincarnate.
This leads to one of those wild HK finishes with people and furniture flying
about the house. The last fifteen minutes of the film is not too bad
but not very much happens beforehand.
My rating for this film: 5.5