DVD Review: The House

STUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Andrew Jay Cohen | CAST: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Ryan Simpkins, Nick Kroll, Lennon Parham, Michaela Watkins
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 10, 2017 | PRICE: DVD $23.02, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $22.99
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted and alternate scenes, line-o-rama, gag reel
SPECS: R | 88 min. | Comedy | 2.35:1 widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Something has gone terribly awry with the Will Ferrell-Amy Poehler gambling farce The House.

The idea is decent: Scott Johnson (Ferrell, Get Hard) and wife Kate (Poehler, Inside Out) are desperate for money to send their daughter to her college of choice after their promised tuition gift is cancelled by the local officials in their housing development. To make up for their loss, they decide to open up a casino in the home of their gambling-addicted, cash-strapped neighbor (Jason Mantzoukas, Dirty Grandpa), welcoming neighbors looking for Las Vegas-styled entertainment in their own backyard.

For the most part, the comedy falls flat. Dialogue is dull, visuals are even duller and the potentially dynamite comic duo of Ferrell and Poehler never elicit sparks, fizzling out quickly. There is not even a good gambling scene in the picture.

There’s plenty of potential here for yuks and some subtle jabs at middle class suburbanites letting out their pent-up frustrations and parents trying to keep their millennial kids happy, but these themes go by the wayside as well. In fact, the last half-hour of the film seems to have come from “Rewrite Central” with some organized crime figures and off-putting violence arriving late in the game, all of it totally out-of-synch with the rest of the film.

This first effort from Andrew Jay Cohen, co-writer of the Seth Rogen’s Neighbors movies, pulled in a disappointing $25 million at the box-office this past summer. On the home market, The House will stand with decent numbers, but is unlikely to hit the jackpot.

Buy or Rent The House

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.