The House (2017) Review

3/5* Siobhan Divers | Shiv’s Show


Dir: Andrew Jay Cohen

88 mins

Starring: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Nick Kroll, Allison Tolman, Michaela Watkins, Jeremy Renner


Relatively slow to start with a considerable amount of action happening within the last few scenes, The House nevertheless features a great cast who provide quite a few laughs.

Centering around suburban parents Scott and Kate Johansen (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler), The House sees an entire town voting against the provision of a full scholarship to the Johansen’s daughter Alex (Ryan Simpkins), instead favouring to fund a community pool.

Forced to team up with their friend, neighbour and local gambling addict Frank Theodorakis (Jason Mantzoukas), the Johansen’s open an underground, in-house casino in order to pay for their daughter’s university tuition.

Already an illegal operation, it isn’t long before the casino turns into a place of drugs, other forms of gambling and violence.

While the primary plot is obviously the central focus of the film, the subplots are reduced to featuring within a limited number of scenes. The affair between two members of the council is limited to three scenes while the pact between the Johansen’s daughter and her friends to enjoy themselves fully before starting university is limited to one sequence with the ongoing divorce proceedings between Frank Theodorakis and his wife Raina (Michaela Watkins) also being sidelined. This ultimately gives the impression that too many scenes have been cut or that the script was poorly organised in the first place leaving interesting subplots and supporting characters completely underused.

Despite this, while it has its flaws, The House will appeal to a certain kind of comedy fan. As a general rule for people who are not huge fans of this kind of humour, before deciding on a comedy to watch, look at the cast list. If you recognize the majority of the comedians in the film and enjoy their particular style of comedy, then the film is probably for you.

In the case of The House, the three main actors and actresses Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler and Jason Mantzoukas each have their own style with the style of Mantzoukas in particular dictating the majority of the film’s tone.

While the pace is relevantly fast, the script is not perfect and if the film had a less-known cast, it would be considerably less enjoyable, Poehler and Ferrell carry the humour making The House at the least watchable for people who aren’t huge fans of American comedies and perhaps more enjoyable for people who enjoy Will Ferrell’s other films and other American comedies like Bad Neighbours which has a similar style.


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Siobhan x

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