Grandma's House (1989) ***
D: Peter Rader
C: Eric Foster, Kim Valentine, Brinke Stevens, Ida Lee, Len Lesser, Angela O'Neill, Michael Robinson
Plot Synopsis: Two orphaned kids are sent to live with their grandparents, but it turns out grandma & grandpa have a few skeletons in their closet.
Review: In Grandma's House, two orphaned kids discover that their grandparents are hiding a lot of secrets and those secrets are going to eventually spill out, in violent fashion.
From the get go, a feeling of aloofness permeates the proceedings. That feeling is further cemented by atmospheric photography. We know that something bad is going to happen, but we're not exactly sure when and how those bad things are going to happen. Like the main characters, viewers have to piece together what exactly is happening, as it does, and the significance of these various scenarios. This allows for Grandma's House to constantly one up itself with whatever twists & turns it has up its sleeve. Adding to the mystery is horror vet Brinke Stevens as a mysterious woman with an even more mysterious past. She's effectively used throughout.
Whether you buy into all of these plot twists is a matter of personal preference. Some viewers will endlessly analyze them, while others will simply go with the flow. In the end, not everything adds up, but, more often, then not, I was willing to go along for the ride to see how the various plot points would connect.
Grandma's House has the power to surprise, a refreshing change of pace from the predictable slashers of the 80's. [R] 90 mins.
AKA: Grandmother's House