Rob Zombie, the rock star turned film director of House of 1000 Corpses knows about horror. Clearly he has spent a great deal of time watching horror movies, and in his debut film he gets the look and the feel of 70s classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre just right. He does, however, miss the mark on two points – story and a little something I like to call the “booga-booga” factor. This movie wouldn’t scare the skin off a rice pudding. It’s gross in places, but given the pre-release hype about how it had been dropped by two studios because it was too intense for a general audience, I expected to leave the theatre quaking. Instead I simply left the theatre. Oldster cult favourite Sid Haig as an evil clown named Captain Spaulding is entertaining, but underused, while the prerequisite chowder headed teens who must try to survive in the evil house are so uninteresting you actually hope they get killed so the movie will end a bit sooner. This lot couldn’t tell the time if the town hall clock fell on them, let alone outwit the crazed family of murderers who keep them hostage. House of 1000 Corpses wastes opportunity after opportunity to scare us, preferring instead to go for the obvious, or a cheap joke. Only once does Zombie come close to emulating the fear factor of the masters of 70s horror like Tobe Hooper. Allowing the camera to linger on Otis (Bill Mosley) before he shoots an unfortunate man in the head builds a great deal of anticipation, and has the kind of tension that is the mark of a good horror flick. Too bad it is just one short scene in a ninety minute film.