July 17, 2010
HOUSE -- Cover Criticism
House was a major disappointment as a movie (review), but let's take a look at the film's art and ask ourselves: Will it be classic, characterless, or criminal?
There were several variations of the VHS cover art (what you see above is actually the theatrical poster, but it's not too different from the box art), but all VHS covers featuring the rotting, floating hand ringing a door bell became instantly iconic. Although the art is not very engaging -- in fact it's quite static and dull and lacking any hint of the film's attempt at humour -- it was highly memorable, nevertheless. The hand is rendered with excellent detail and reminds me of the art from an EC horror comic; the fleshy threads and the bone sticking out of the stump are a nice touch. The dead space around the hand also gives the image some sense of eerie expectation. Overall, this art isn't great, but it does a good job of hooking the reader and has just enough character to deserve its classic status.