It is such a hard task to adapt a video game to the big screen. Mortal Kombat is the perfect example of success at this mission. For horror, Resident Evil did a great job as well. Sadly, here is a film that never should have seen the light because it is based on a game that isnít popular enough and because it has a hell of a time mixing horror and action.
House of the Deadís worst aspect is the abusive use of ridiculous transitions consisting of rapid eye blinking that are transposed from the game. If one of the heroes shoots a zombie in the head, we witness a clip that emulates an old arcade game instead of a classic sequence of splurging blood. Is this an innovative way of circumventing the MPAAís infernal scissors or a creative attempt of bad taste? Regardless, it is inexcusable and can even be considered amateur.
The trance soundtrack is appropriate because it is inherited from the game but it ruins the tension that should have reigned throughout the film. On a side note, Resident Evil had committed the same mistake. Furthermore, the film features a few Matrix-style rip offs such as the 360-degree rotating view of the hero. Once again, this effect is used much too frequently and becomes annoying.
Seeing so many one-dimensional characters transform into invincible heroes with feeble spirits made me smile. The film often reminded me of Versus with its sometimes too serious narration and long fight sequences. The zombie leader is more of a wuss than his subordinates and he spends most of the film spying on our heroes. Also, he proclaims "All I want is your flesh" during his final discourse in a Pinhead-fashion. It is because this film oscillates between so many diverse aspects that it becomes amusing. In spite of (and perhaps because of) all of its flaws, House of the Dead succeeds in keeping you riveted to your seat for the whole trip.