House of the Dead 2003

This was the official website of the 2003 horror film, House of the Dead.
Content is from the site's archived pages and other relevant outside sources.



House Of The Dead - Trailer
It's spring break and these college kids just want to party. When they charter a boat to take them to a rave on a nearby island, they find it completely deserted, except for the bloodthirsty zombies that have taken it over. A frantic search begins for weapons to use against the encroaching killers because, as nighttime falls, they realize that their only hope for survival is to win the final the HOUSE OF THE DEAD.


Address: Uwe Boll. 
Countries: Canada, USA and Germany. 
Year: 2003. 
Duration: 90 min. 
Interpretation: Ona Grauer (Alicia), Jonathan Cherry (Rudy), Tyron Leitso (Simon), Enuka Okuma (Karma), Jürgen Prochnow (Kirk), Will Sanderson (Greg), Ellie Cornell (Casper), Sonya Salomaa (Cynthia) Clint Howard (Salish), Kira Clavell (Liberty). 
Screenplay: Mark A. Altman and Dave Parker; based on the video game. 
Production: Uwe Boll, Shaw Williamson and Wolfgang Herold. 
Music: Reinhard Besser. 
Photography:Mathias Neumann. 
Editing: David M. Richardson. 
Production design: Tink. 
Artistic Direction: Peter Stratford. 
Costume: Lorraine Carson. 
Premiere in USA: 10 October 2003. 
Premiere in Spain: 7 May 2004.

House of the Dead is a 2003 German-Canadian-American zombie film, and the adaptation of the 1996 light gun arcade game of the same name produced by Sega. The film was directed by Uwe Boll and is a critical and commercial failure.

The film was panned by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film was ranked as the 41st of the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with an approval rating of 3% based on 59 reviews. 


CRITICAL by Joaquín R. Fernández
  Uwe Bollis a filmmaker who during the next few years has proposed to bring to the big screen a series of video games that, in general, except "Alone in the dark", can not be said to be true references in this form of leisure that even now generates more dividends than the film industry itself. The director of "House of the dead" does not seem interested in the arguments of the material whose rights have acquired, among other things because they are extremely simple and practically nonexistent.

   As the script is unbearable and the story is not supported by any side, Uwe Boll chooses to shoot a very fast introduction in which, to attract the attention of the adolescents whom he intends to em-dance with his tape, is dedicated to show us a few female nudes that, so gratuitously, almost cause laughter by the impudence with which they are raised. The one who likes horror movies will be completely disgusted after seeing this movie, for all he will find is gunfire and a good number of viscera and blood, but not claustrophobic and oppressive environments. On the contrary, zombies are visible at all times while the protagonists of "history"

  Of course, Matrix effects and continuous references to the game are not missing anytime, becoming Uwe Boll in a kind of Gus Van Sant, although this time replace the cows of that one by fleeting images of the title of Sega . To-do it configures a delirious product that does not cause fear, but an annoying feeling that we are taking the footand that the only truly remarkable feature of the film is found in the work of the makeup department, which really seems to have taken its work seriously. The future director of "BloodRayne" does not show any talent in the multiple planes that we can find in the film; on the contrary, rather it seems to roll everything without planning, in the purest style of a production of series B, except in those scenes in which the most modern special effects have been used. The sets are crappy and appear actually filthy. My dad who runs a janitorial supplies business watched it with us. He loves horror, and nothing grosses him out, yet he wanted to send the producers some free samples. "Gross is grosser if it's actually dirty!"

  The cast is terribly frightening, a handful of young performers who do not even deserve to be called actors , although it is true that no one has the opportunity to show off a script in which they create dialogues that are constructed with short phrases and where there is no development of the characters (hence Jürgen Prochnow shows in his face a brazen apathy or that in the original version of the film nor bother to correctly pronounce in Spanish "Island of Death", making it rather as if he were speaking in Portuguese). With respect to the soundtrack, it presents some decent moments and much higher than what we see on the screen (the camera overlapping the sea and directing his gaze towards the island or the later moments when the protagonists take refuge in the house seeing that they can not flee by boat, crowded with the living dead). However, the horrifying use of disco rhythms destroys these minimal hits and bring us back to reality:



The Cinemaphile Blog

House of the Dead / zero stars (2003)

The utterly dreadful “House of the Dead” wages war against the enthusiasm of moviegoers by asking a dangerous key question: can filmmakers be as stupid and irresponsible as the characters they exploit? Five minutes into the picture and I felt my inner child weeping for the future of the industry. That’s not to say this is an endeavor made with dubious intentions; on the contrary, I’m positive everyone involved legitimately thought they were participating in something amusing, at least on a professional level. But that makes their associations all the more damning when one contemplates them in the context of the final result, a film so inept that one can only gaze on it with relentless confusion. What possessed the director, Uwe Boll, to orchestrate his maddening opus with the hands of a clueless lunatic? What nerve did these writers (if you dare call them that) have in pitching a screenplay that most college students would be embarrassed to submit as a first draft assignment? And what of the designers of the game it is based on, who will no doubt look on at these images and find themselves inflamed with outrage that their source will now forever be disparaged by this stain of an incompetent adaptation?

To describe what a viewer may witness in these 90 minutes is to imagine what it must be like to suffer brain trauma – some moments have the resonance of vapor, others inspire pain, and an even greater few suggest as many frustrating gazes as they do hopeless questions. Unlike video games, however, the film never bothers to set basic ground rules, other than perhaps the vague connotation that audiences have plucked their own from a catalogue of more reputable sources about zombies and undead attackers. But even that falls into question with the simplest impulses, and there is a sense as you watch the scenes that they have been filmed in no order, without cogent setups or with any of the actors knowing their lines before cameras start rolling. There is a moment in the first hour so bad that it emphasizes the overreaching laziness of all those involved. A woman is swimming off the shore of an island, her boyfriend is nearly passed out on the beach, and the camera pans under her dangling legs while the soundtrack thuds ominously, suggesting a reenactment of the famous opening sequence of “Jaws.” Instead, no attack comes; she turns back to the beach to find her man missing, and there is nothing further said of his disappearance.

What follows (and precedes, for that matter) is a series of disjointed, badly shot and poorly conceived scenes that have no artistic value and offer no sense of perspective, unless you’re the sort of person who thrives on supposed professionals making total fools of themselves. The story is a slapdash retread of nearly every dead teenager cliché of the past thirty years: five rowdy youngsters show up to the edge of a pier to take a boat out to a nearby island, where an apparent rave is currently underway, and discover their boat has left without them. A shoddy narration from an unknown source overlays their arrival: “If only they stayed in Seattle, they’d be alive today.” The words are then echoed by the puzzling gazes of Salish (Clint Howard), a longshoreman with eccentric behavior patterns who warns that the island is “cursed,” although not enough to inspire his mysterious boss Kirk (Jurgen Prochnow) to transport them out there anyway. Meanwhile, the movie hints at a subplot with the inclusion of a police officer named Casper (Ellie Cornell), who believes Kirk is smuggling something on his boat and pursues him just as events on the island begin to run amok.

But when the five arrive, they do not discover a rousing party atmosphere, as early establishing shots suggest; the rave has already been disbanded and all the participants have either gone missing or shown up dead, usually in a literal sense as bloodthirsty corpses. The source: a rather old looking church-like structure at the center of a clearing, said to contain the spirits of early settlers who have turned the island into a death trap for anyone who wanders within. The bigger crime is asking the audience to believe any of this is scary or plausible; the first time the “undead” creatures are visible during an early attack, in fact, their appearances are so badly conceptualized that it’s as if someone glued dryer lint to the faces of the actors and gave them Christmas lights to simulate their red eyes. Those are simply a launch point of an endless arsenal of offenses, however. The makeup of the actual zombies is amateurish at best. The villain, who looks like a device from the Rob Zombie discard pile, has no presence beyond the absurdity of his scowl. And when the inevitable survivors turn the initial attack around into nonsensical shootouts after long chases, the damaged heads of the deceased look less like works of movie magic and more like exploding watermelons full of spaghettios. And don’t even get me started on the film’s lazy use of blood, which looks less like the actual substance and more like someone spilling red Kool-Aid on the nearby rug.

I could regard this all with easy dismissal, mind you, had Boll not had the audacity to transition between scenes using footage from the actual video game. The very idea is ridiculous – certainly moreso than the terrible point-of-view sequence used in the “Doom” film – but nothing could have prepared me for the blatant visualization of something so ugly and revolting. While I certainly don’t pretend to be an expert in the field, I do know my timelines; because the game came out in 1997, that means the technology was far too primitive for it to be rendered on a movie screen in suitable resolution. Ergo, Boll’s shameless edits have all the finesse of a jarring blob sticking out between shots of actors running in different directions. What was his motivation? In my limited research, I could only cite one justification: the footage exists to pay homage to the source. Apparently no one ever bothered telling him that true dedications ought to come in the form of passable entertainment, not mere seconds of an old game that is probably far more amusing to sit through.


“House of the Dead” is an ugly, endless, moronic waste of film stock. I loathed every pathetic second of it. Will it endure in some circles, though, just as some of the most notorious bad films of all time have? It’s hard to see how. The movie is too shoddy to function as an absurdist’s wet dream. At a certain point the mistakes become so glaring that they no longer inspire anger or resentment – only mere boredom. And the ending is such an inconclusive mess that there is no incentive to heave a sigh of relief at the prospect of any ending: we become too distraught by the underlying motives of the story, which has the arrogance to assume anyone would be interested in a sequel. And indeed, one does exist, somewhere, in the bowels of a cinematic cesspit I hope never to venture. And if it remains true that follow-ups are generally far inferior to their predecessors, imagine what kind of punishment that would insist on those clueless enough to keep going.

Written by DAVID KEYES
Action/Horror (US/Canada); Rated R; Running Time: 90 Minutes
Jonathan Cherry: Rudy
Tyron Leitso: Simon
Clint Howard: Salish
Ona Grauer: Alicia
Ellie Cornell: Casper
Will Sanderson: Greg
Enuka Okuma: Karma




Don't come looking for a story -- this is a hunt.
January 8, 2007 
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A derivative shock-horror exercise desperately in need of an IV.

October 29, 2003
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
 Top Critic

Takes out a moviegoer's limbic brain and cerebral cortex. All that's left functioning is the reptilian brain, droning: Kill The Things. Kill The Things...

October 17, 2003
Bob Campbell
Newark Star-Ledger
 Top Critic


To properly convey the jaw-dropping shoddiness of this videogame-based 'horror' 'movie,' one must approach what scientists call Absolute Stupid.

October 16, 2003 | Rating: F
Scott Brown
Entertainment Weekly
 Top Critic

Here is yet another video game transferred to film with little enhancement or development.

October 17, 2003 | Rating: 1/4
Loren King
Chicago Tribune
 Top Critic



½ Brett B
June 15, 2017
I love horror movies. I love video games. I DON'T like both at the same time! In other words, this movie is the worst I've ever seen in my life, and the video game/live action transitions did not make this movie any better. Your best bet is to just stick to the video game and leave this movie on the shelves.


½ Power M
May 31, 2017
The first time I saw this movie was on the Syfy Channel and I thought to myself damn that was pretty shitty got a SyFy oginal and then to find out it was a multimillion dollar film that made SyFy oginals look good



½ Adam B
April 5, 2017
Why does this movie even exist?



** Marcus M
February 3, 2017

Most movies based off videogames are not good. In fact they're pretty much downright garbage. Which brings us to "House of the Dead" a 2003 Uwe Boll film adaptation of the popular arcade rail shooter. Some might have 2 questions.
1. who's Uwe Boll? 2. What's a rail shooter?

Uwe Boll is a director synonymous with straight to DVD B movie horror/action ; with the "Rampage" trilogy, "In the Name of the King 3", and "Bloodrayne" 2 and 3. I don't know if "House of the Dead" got a theater release ,but if so I'm sure it was short lived.

As for rail shooters. They're your typical arcade shooting games house of the dead, area 51, metal slug. They're games were you're rout is predetermined, most of them move the character for you,you just aim and shoot. There's little dialogue and the plot is simplistic and usually explained in 2 or 3 brief cutscenes. They're still awesome games, but how do you expand on that to make a 90 minute movie? Well after watching "House of the Dead" I can tell you this movie is clearly not the answer.

Our main characters consist of two douchey college guys, three hot girls( tough black girl,dumb blonde, and smart brunette), a kermudgenly German boat captain smuggling weapons, a coast guard badass chick, and Clint Howard as the first mate. That's a bad sign when you have a main party of seven actors nobody knows and Clint Howard is the most famous person in this film.

Our group is on their way to the rave of the year which is being held on Isle de Muerte. Despite missing the ferry to the island and the German captains warning, they pay him to take them anyway. They show up to the island of death and find the rave completely deserted and wrecked( they even find a shirt covered in blood); but think nothing of it and pour themselves some beers and try to hookup.

Zombies inevitably show up and our troop of morons start running through the woods. The blonde girl gets zombified, and her stupid boyfriend then gets eaten. They run into another group of survivors who were at the rave earlier; including my favorite character ,Liberty(an Asian raver girl in a united States flag jumpsuit who kills zombies with knives and roundhouse kicks).

Kirk the German captain shows up to reveal he was smuggling weapons and all hell breaks loose as we get a bad zombie shoot em up; with shitty editing, and horrible techno music throughout. It's so generic that they keep splicing in footage from the "House of the Dead" videogame;like they have to keep reminding you that the movie is based on the game.

There's a Ludacris shoot out scene with a really bad P.O.D sounding song that goes on way too long. Characters and zombies start dieing left and right. There's still not much revealed about the plot. In fact we're not introduced to the villian until an hour and fifteen minutes into a hot and a half movie.

The villian is an evil scientist who's been doing experiments for centuries and has made an immortality serum( Original :/ ). He's doing some weird stuff to make a perfect being,not really sure; even the short exposition is vague. He bites the dust in a death so ridiculous I won't ruin it if you decide to watch this movie. The movie ends in a cliffhanger thinking there will be a sequel, and guess what? They made "House of the Dead 2".

So as far as bad videogame movies go House of the Dead is upper echelon trash. Is it worth a watch? With enough of your friends to rip on it, it's definitely worth a view. It's by no means good, but it's so stupid and poorly done it's funny.


½ Spencer H
December 24, 2016
A laughably horrible movie.



* Arun G
November 12, 2016
This flick is so bad its actually *beep* entertaining. Lots of unintentional humor.



Leonard D
August 24, 2016
Liked the video game, don't bother me with this box office sodomy!



* Danny G
May 21, 2016
One question: was this movie intentionally suppose to be funny? I gave it a star for some of the chuckles I had. Other than that it's a rather juvenile, ill conceived POS that's nothing but a complete waste of time. Drek. Some might argue "why a full star?" Well you might say the breast fu had something to do with it :)


* Andreas C
May 15, 2016
It's not fair to write a review for this in my case. Who knows, maybe it got interesting after I fell asleep out of boredom!



½* Alec S
February 29, 2016
save your time and avoid this like the plague