House on Willow Street had great potential, but the execution lacked in thrills, scares, or excitement. It does have some moments of each, but they are few and far between. On the other hand, the acting is decent enough and the special effects are effective although a tad disturbing at times (their “possession” technique). Overall, I would mildly recommend it.
The movie opens with a group of people planning what turns out to be an abduction from a house on Willow Street. The group intends to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy businessman and ransom her for certain items in his possession. The abduction is nearly flawless, but their real problems begin when they get their captive back to their hideout. Turns out, they messed the wrong “person” on the wrong night.
The story unfolds at a reasonable pace. Over the course of the film, we learn about the group and a bit about their past, as well as the history of the haunted house and the family that currently resides there. This is not a film that leaves a lot of questions unanswered; whether or not the answers always make sense is up for debate.
There are quite a few jump scares that work well, at least early on before you get used to them. The setting, the atmosphere, sound effects, and music all do their best to add to the terror. I enjoy a good scare and this movie had one in particular that, when I think about it, still gives me chills. Not to spoil it, but I will say pictures in horror films can be very creepy.