House of 1000 Corpses is a modern-day, disjointed Texas Chainsaw Massacre that makes you very uneasy from start to very bloody end.
Fitting more of the slasher genre than horror, House of 1000 Corpses follows four college-aged kids as they travel through a small town on Halloween eve. Of course, their car breaks down while trying to hunt down the legend of a local mass-murderer named Dr. Satan, and they find themselves staying (against their will) with a dysfunctional family of deranged country bumpkins -- who, of course, turn out to be crazy killers themselves.
This is a bloody movie. I would say it is gorier than the films Hannibal and American Psycho put together. Once you get past the first 20 minutes or so -- there is hardly a scene where blood isn't smeared across someone's face, or a person isn't wearing the skin of another.
House of 1000 Corpses is sprinkled with clips of the murderers talking or yelling at the camera or ranting about something that one of their visitors is doing. This continual interruption gives the movie a very disjointed feel and really goes a long way at keeping you on edge. There were plenty of times when I had finally settled into a semi-relaxed state that the sudden change in scenery jarred me and once again put me on edge.
Is this movie scary? I never found it frightening, but I felt disturbed throughout the film. From the opening scene when the clown-faced owners of a small tourist trap stopped a couple of robbers to the ending featuring a showdown with Dr. Satan, I was truly uncomfortable. But that is apparently the point of the film. This is obvious when you consider the song selection.
So since it has Rob Zombie's name on it, the movie's musical element is a pleasure and added most of the overall feel. This film has a little bit of everything in it, from Zombie's own "Everybody Scream", "Little Piggy", "Halloween Stomp" to The Commodores' "She's a Brick House" to "I Wanna Be Loved By You" performed by Helen Kane. Needless to say, the musical selection is a lot of what sets the mood for 1000 Corpses. This film would definitely not be as disturbing without the nerve-wracking heavy metal blaring in the background that suddenly changes into the cutesy voice of Kane.
This is a movie for those people who love slashers and want to see something that takes the genre oh so much further. House of 1000 Corpses might not be frightening per se, but it is disturbing enough to make it hard to go to sleep afterwards.