House of Pain ★★★½

Moving to a new neighborhood, a Latin family in a predominantly white part of small-town Arizona who are soon found out to be targeting the family to carry out a demonic blood pact and must find a way to hold off the intruders to get out of the house alive.

Overall, this is a serviceable enough home invasion effort. Among the more enjoyable features here is the fun setup that works at slowly introducing the horrors slowly yet effectively. The idea of the closet town of murdering racists, introduced through the disparaging comments not just to them but others at the farmers’ market or the unsubtle way they forced themselves into trying to welcome the family makes for a sympathetic turn for the family. That they’re so likable against the neighbors’ secretive sinister plans from this early setup work is a great strategy while allowing some suspense to build up. That this setup turns the later invasion sequences into pretty chilling encounters is all to the films’ benefit. The arrival of the intruders and their silent takeover of the house rounding up the family before they get interrupted by what turns out to be the first round as a second group arrives to finish the job is all enjoyable enough. Both attacks are handled well with some thrilling action, suspenseful encounters a dew storyline twists that come off rather unexpectedly as the initial strategy of a home invasion effort with the first wave being driven away and a second to handle the majority of the film is an original take. Along with some bloody enough kills, there are some enjoyable elements here. This one does have a few minor problems. One of the first issues is the rather quick and convenient manner they get he answers solved for the various mysteries and questions. How the timeline joke was a secret subtle warning, the timeline of the move was deliberate and the individuals involved all seem to be guessed at rather than logically figured out, making for some rather confusing leaps of logic. As well, the finale is rushed and somewhat abrupt, taking a solid idea in potential and forcing it through in such a quick manner that it’s more confusing than anything with the way it transpires. It’s not enough to hold this down but it stands out overall.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.