4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 30 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

Depression Era Middle America: An aged doctor is summoned to a remote country house in the middle of a stormy night by a mother concerned for her teenaged son. The doctor finds the boy tied to his bed, raving about murder. The mother is afraid that her son might be crazy – or worse, that he really might be the killer that he believes himself to be. By the end of the night, the doctor will know the truth.

That’s the basic storyline for “House Call”, the premiere installment of “Tom Savini’s Chill Factor”, a DVD-exclusive anthology series from Savini and his partners, producer Marty Schiff, executive producer Charles Zvirman and writer Jeff Monahan. The team has high expectations for “House Call” and plan, should sales from this first episode warrant them, to make “Chill Factor” into a series reminiscent of “Night Gallery” or “Tales from the Darkside”, returning to the by-gone days of anthology horror.

I’m happy to report that “House Call” is every bit as good as the site’s trailer promised it would be. Savini has finally gotten the chance to prove that he is every bit the artist as director as he was as an effects master. Though the pacing is deliberate, there are few “still” moments in “House Call”, as the camera is constantly moving, through space, shadows and time, as flashbacks reveal more and more of the plot as the story unfolds. It’s a beautiful, hypnotic short film. Though fans may see the twist ending coming, trying to stay ahead of Savini and Monahan’s story is just part of the fun of watching.

In interviews, Savini called the production of “House Call” a return to the days when he was part of Romero’s Pittsburgh family, where the same group of people made movies and have fun working together. “House Call” has the same feel as “Dawn of the Dead”, “Martin” and “Knightriders” – a quiet, atmospheric story that proves to be something special in the end. For hardcore fans of the genre, “House Call” shouldn’t be missed.

Posted on October 18, 2004 in Reviews by

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