House of Horrors – The Carpenter (1988)

Wings Hauser, no stranger to horror, plays a carpenter who only wants to finish building his house. There is a slight problem to it all though as the man is a ghost and a murderous one at that. Having died some time ago or more accurately having been executed, Edward now looks to finish the old homestead as it has new tenants and Alice, who eventually meets him after having moved in and knows him for what he is, falls in love with him. Soon Edward gets carried away though as the bodies begin to pile up and when he goes after Alice’s sister, that ends up being the final straw.

The Carpenter begins more like a Lifetime movie than anything else, slow and steady, setting up what seems to be some kind of relationship drama between a husband and wife when all of a sudden a handsome stranger walks into their lives to turn everything upside down. Love blossoms while the husband and wife as portrayed by Lynne Adams and Pierre Lenoir grow further apart. That all changes when Edward takes a circular saw to one of the workers on the house, cutting his arms off after the man tried to take advantage of Alice. It is at this point that director David Wellington finally lets the audience know that they are in for something a little more than they bargained for and it only continues to get bloodier from here. Additionally, the pace begins to pick up a little and Hauser, who was already giving a somewhat creepy performance as the handyman with a good if strange work ethic, starts to really lean into the murderous killer part of the role.

One can easily tell that that the film was made on a fairly low budget as the special effects were not altogether the greatest and the cast, aside from Hauser, were not big in name though they did manage to do a decent job with their performances. The best scene in the movie would be that during the finale when Edward is about to kill Alice’s sister and they end up hurting him by hurting the house, a scene that would rely upon Hauser’s abilities as an actor more than anything else given the fairly soapy nature of the movie.

Still, for what it is, The Carpenter is an adequate little slasher that is not so big on the scares as it is on the melodrama between woman and ghost.

2.5 out of 5

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