When Scott and Kate Johansen’s daughter gets into the college of her dreams it’s cause for celebration. That is, until Scott and Kate (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) learn that the scholarship they were counting on didn’t come through, and they’re now on the hook for tuition they can’t begin to afford. With the help of their friend and neighbor Frank (Jason Mantzoukas)—also in need of a major payday—they decide to open an illegal casino in his suburban house, risking everything together on a Vegas-style bacchanal where money flows, inhibitions are checked at the door, and all bets are off.

thehousebluStudio: Warner Brothers
Year: 2017
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Run time: 88 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: DTS HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD/1 DVD
Region: A

“The House” as a comedy, it works just well enough: there are some solid laugh out loud moments, there’s a sense of R-rated manic energy, and the performances from the cast are mostly funny. Running 88 minutes, the movie seems like it spent far too much time in the editing room. Scene by scene, the movie feels like it’s been recut multiple times. There are a ton of montages for such a short film, there’s expository voice-over all over the place, and seemingly key characters appear then disappear at random. I’d always prefer a comedy be too short rather than too long, but The House is so brief that I can barely call it a real movie.

With such a short running time, there’s obviously almost nothing in the way of character development. There’s no real sympathy established for the main characters who start an illegal casino, as they are basically one-dimensional and clueless. I doubt the filmmakers ever truly cared about character motivation or establishing any sense or reality, and the majority of the audience won’t either, but everything about The House feels somewhat slapdash and shoddily put together. Maybe at some point there was more meat to the story and more to the film as a whole, though it’s hard to tell in the final cut. As per usual with comedies these days, there are scenes from the trailers missing in the finalized version.

Movie Quality: 8/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The print looks very good throughout without any apparent issues. Colors are vibrant and carry pop which brings out the fine details. The detailed scenes stand out very well. Blacks are deep. I found the print to be crystal clear with no artifacts or print damage. There is a nice mixture of outside and inside scenes with ‘The House’, but the outside scenes use of natural lighting really shows off the print.
Print Quality: 9/10

The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA l0ssless 5.1 mix. With many comedies, they never truly take advantage of the soundfield. The same can be said in some instances with ‘HTBS’ considering that it is more of a front heavy experience. When the soundtrack comes into play, especially during the party scenes, it really fills up the soundfield. Dialogue is clear and crisp through the center channel.
Print Quality: 9/10

Special Features

  • Featurette: The House: Playing with a Loaded Deck [HD]
  • Featurette: If You Build The House They Will Come [HD]
  • Deleted Scenes [HD]
  • Extended/Alternate Scenes [HD]
  • Gag Reel [HD]
  • Line-O-Ramas [HD]

Special Features: 9.5/10

Final Thoughts

“The House” is a fun little popcorn movie with some flaws, yet Amy Poehler’s familiar “in your face” attitude and Will Ferrell’s trademark cowardice but it is oversold as a comedy help make this more enjoyable than it should be at times.
Overall Rating: 9/10