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Blu-ray Review: The House

October 10, 2017

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

When their daughter Alex (Ryan Simpkins) is accepted into Bucknell University, but loses the town scholarship that she was promised when the city councillor (Nick Kroll) decides to cut the funding, Scott (Will Ferrell) and Kate Johansen (Amy Poehler) are left with little resources to pay for their only child’s education.

When they blow through what little money they do have in her college fund in Las Vegas, naively trying to make more money through gambling, they hatch a plan to start an illegal underground casino in their friend Frank’s (Jason Mantzoukas) basement, inviting all of their neighbours and setting it up in a way so the “house always win.”

Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen, in his feature directorial debut after having writing credits on Neighbors and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, The House is the sort of comedy that takes its over the top premise to fairly predictable places, and often goes for cheap laughs.  But this isn’t to say that there isn’t some entertainment value to be had while watching it.  The film moves at a quick pace and does deliver some decent laughs, thanks to the fact that it has the two talented comedians Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler at its centre, who have good chemistry together and know how to carry a movie.

The film mostly operates in pretty lowbrow territory, and it’s far from the best thing either of its stars have done, but I still found The House to be a somewhat enjoyable comedy for what it is.  It’s not great, but if you like Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler as much as I do, then the film is mildly worth a rental for some mindless entertainment.

The Blu-ray also includes a gag reel, a selection of deleted and extended scenes, and the featurettes The House: Playing With a Loaded Deck and If You Build the House They Will Come.

The House is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release.  It’s 88 minutes and rated 14A.

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