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Web Video: Doom House

My name is Reginald P. Linux, and ever since my wife died I've been very depressed. This is why I've been searching for the house of my dreams, but as a philosopher once said, "Be careful what you dream for because you JUST... MIGHT... GET IT."

Doom House is a 2003 short film directed by and starring the filmmaking power duo of Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka and Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen of Something Awful.

After the heartbreaking death of his wife leaves a severe depression weighed heavily on his soul, Reginald P. Linux (Kyanka) packs his bags and searches for a new place to call home, an escape from the blinding guilt and torment wrenching his conscience. But just when he thinks he has found the perfect home, Reginald only discovers that he has tumbled into a frightening, macabre world of unspeakable terrors that threatens to shatter his very existence and fragile sensitivity. Along with the help of a friendly plainclothes police officer who may or may not be what he appears (Bowen), Reginald attempts to unravel the bloody, horrifying secrets of the Doom House...

The film was accompanied by an incredibly fawning review at Something Awful by Ben "Greasnin" Platt, who praised it as a masterpiece, giving it a score of 46/50 while noting, "This film achieves a level of realism that is unheard of, while still using tried and true methods of cameraplay and misdirection to craft together a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the opening title to the haunting twist ending."

The smash success of Doom House led to a sequel, Mood House, with Opposite Day dialogue as well as the order of the sequence of events and the roles played by the actors reversed, and an anime series in Japan.


Tropes found in Doom House include:

  • Agent Mulder: When Officer Cop first arrives at the house, he is quick to conclude that a paranormal occurrence is the only possible explanation and that the house must be a doom house.
  • Agent Scully: Linux constantly scoffs at Officer Cop's insistence that the doom house is real and that he should move, always repeating the words "doom house" with a sense of baffled bemusement and confusion.
  • Alan Smithee: For unknown reasons, Kyanka and Bowen both opted to have their screenwriting credits removed. As a result, the script is credited to the pseudonym "Nobody Really".
  • America Saves the Day: Reginald P. Linux, an American Patriot through and through, combats and eliminates the threat of Islamic terrorism.
  • Appeal To Authority: When giving advice to Reginald, Officer Cop likes to always remind him that he is a cop just to give his advice that little bit of extra authenticity. But this is, of course, a crafty ruse to get Reginald to inadvertently trust a terrorist.
  • Aside Comment:
    • When Officer Cop makes the first Title Drop, he turns and looks directly at the camera as he says it.
    • The Terrorist does this right before The Reveal.
    The Terrorist: Now I'm inside his basement... [turns to the screen] and inside his mind.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening title card reads "Doom Hose", but right then, just when the audience is starting to get the idea that they're going to see a murderous hose strangling people and spraying them with water, the title changes to something even more sinister—"Doom House". Now, all those expectations of a sinister hose that the audience had already forged are shattered and replaced with a far more terrifying thought, this is about a horror that is inside a home, a place where people go to feel safe.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The terrorist is able to get inside the mind of Reginald P. Linux, and Reginald must destroy him in order to get him out of there.
  • Be Careful What You Dream For: Invoked. At the beginning of the movie, when Reginald informs the audience of his ambition to move into his dream house in his Opening Narration, he is still quick to remember to be wary of this important life lesson, as told to him by a philosopher.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After the terrorist reveals himself, Reginald P. Linux and the doll promptly unite and deliver a swift attack bookended by Pre-Mortem and Bond One-Liners to defeat him.
  • Bond One-Liner: "Now you're inside my basement... and out of my mind."
  • Cat Scare: The filmmakers always playing with our expectations, Reginald opens a closet door really quickly when the audience is expecting to see something scary only for Reginald's pet cat to be found behind the door.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Reginald's ability to throw the doll, first demonstrated when he's trying to remove the doll from his new house, comes in handy later when he must fight the terrorist.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The house seems to be mostly haunted by an "odd-looking figurine" that always appears near Linux even after he grinds it up in the garbage disposal. It's explained as being "part of the Doom House mystique".
  • Cool House: The doom house is capable of decorating its interiors to look like a normal suburban family home all on its own. However, this trope is ultimately Subverted what with the doom house being haunted and all.
  • Creepy Basement: Officer Cop haunts the basement of the doom house once he reveals himself to be evil. He does this so he could find a passageway into Reginald's mind.
  • Creepy Doll: Harasses the occupant of the doom house, implied to be evil.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The Opening Narration reveals that Reginald's wife died some time back. It also reveals that he's been feeling depressed because of it ever since.
  • Daylight Horror: The Creepy Doll (see above) only appears to terrorize Linux during the daytime.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "If you don't move out of the doom house, it could spell your doom!"
  • Determinator: No matter how much Reginald is terrorized by the evil of the doom house or advised by the police officer to leave the residence, he is determined to stay there and is eventually able to work out a gentleman's agreement with the house's horrors.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The Creepy Doll and the terrorist are able to override Linux's television screen projection whenever he is playing video games.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom
  • Dramatic Pause: Officer Cop delivers a few of these, perhaps most notably before the Title Drop.
  • Dull Surprise: As an intentional contrast to Mr. Kyanka's overacting and to better act as a Foil for Linux, Kevin Bowen as Officer Cop wears dull grin on his face and delivers all his lines in an emotionless monotone for the entire film.
  • Enemy Mine: After making their gentlemen's agreement, Reginald and the doll join forces to defeat the terrorist.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Linux comes pretty close to one when he thinks he has disposed of the doll.
    • The terrorist has one of the weirdest ones ever, if that's even supposed to be laughter. It certainly seems to change into something else.
  • Evil Phone: Reginald answers a haunting phone call made by the Creepy Doll, which threatens to cut Reginald's hair and put it in a bowl.
  • Foreshadowing: There's a roll of paper towels seen on a living room coffee table at the beginning, which foreshadows the terrorist (or "towelhead") at the end.
  • Glasses Pull: Sunglasses frequently appear over Reginald's eyes when he is inside the doom house and is trying to look at something, thus requiring Reginald to immediately take the sunglasses off.
  • Haunted House: Or a doom house.
  • Haunted Technology: When Officer Cop is revealed to be a terrorist it reveals that he's assaulting Reginald's mind. Which begins with him terrorizing Reginald via his television while he plays games.
  • Hitler Cam: Officer Cop is filmed this way in one shot, just when his already strange behavior is starting to become more suspicious.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The terrorist is defeated by having the doll thrown at him.
  • Indian Burial Ground: More precisely, a "terrorist burial camp".
  • Ironic Echo: Not word-for-word, but just before Officer Cop reveals himself as the terrorist, he says, "Now I'm inside his basement... and inside his mind." After his defeat, Reginald tells him, "Now you're inside my basement... and out of my mind."
  • Kubrick Stare: When the terrorist begins chanting in Arabic, his head is slightly tilted down as his menacing eyes stay fixed on Mr. Linux, and the camera films this from an above angle, accentuating this even further.
  • Large Ham: Rich Kyanka as Reginald P. Linux overacts as much as he can.
  • Lens Flare
  • Little "No": Reginald does this four times when he sees the doll again after having just escaped its wrath from the bedroom.
  • The Lost Lenore: Reginald's wife, whose tragic death before the start of the story made him very depressed.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: It is unknown to viewers what the "P" in Reginald P. Linux's name is an abbreviation of.
  • No Name Given: Officer Cop is never referred to by that name in the story, and the character is only identified as "Police Officer" in the credits. Officer Cop didn't get his name until the Japanese anime series.
  • Noodle Implements: The terrorist needs a baby gate and a dustpan to carry out his plans, but it's not made clear what part they play in those plans.
  • Noodle Incident: Linux's wife died very tragically in one.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: What WAS that thing that quickly ambled up to Reginald's house at night? We'll never know... and that just makes it worse.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The Creepy Doll is able to move freely through the doom house in this manner.
  • Oh, Crap: Reginald P. Linux's initial reaction every time the doll returns after he thinks he has gotten rid of it or has run away from it.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Accompanies the evil doll wherever it goes or wherever it dispenses forth its horrific evil.
  • Pac Man Fever: At one point, Reginald is seen playing a Playstation 2, with 8-bit noises emanating from his TV.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The entire story's course of events begin with Reginad's wife dying.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The villain revealed near the end is an Islamic terrorist, specifically referred to by the slur "towelhead".
  • Posthumous Character: Linux's late wife.
  • Prayer of Malice: The terrorist presumably recites a Muslim prayer in Arabic with this intention after threatening Mr. Linux.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • "You're garbage. So I'm gonna treat you like garbage... in a disposal!"
    • "Playtime's over. Take this dollhead, you towelhead!"
  • Product Placement: There's plug for fast food chain Carl's Jr. in the form of a beverage cup.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Be careful what you dream for, because you JUST... MIGHT... GET IT!"
  • Red Herring Suspect: Throughout most of the story, we are led to believe that Linux is being terrorized by a horrible doll, only to learn that he is, in fact, being terrorized by a terrorist.
  • The Reveal: Officer Cop, who was initially thought to be a kind civil servant regarding Reginald's safety and well being as a top priority, reveals his true identity to be that of an an Islamic terrorist who was only trying to get Reginald to leave the house so that he could take it back from Reginald.
  • Revised Ending: The original ending involved Linux walking down to the basement and shooting a flare gun into the terrorist's crotch. While actor Kevin Bowen was wearing a fireproof suit underneath his costume for the shot, Rich Kyanka, playing Linux, missed his target and hit Bowen's lower legs, setting his pants on fire and leaving him with third degree burns over his pelvis and thighs. As a result, Bowen's last scene is him clutching a wooden board. The last shot of the film was a last-minute replacement as an ending.
  • Security Blanket: At one point, Reginald is wrapped in one which he then symbolically casts off after the terrorist is defeated to convey that he no longer fears for his life inside the doom house.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: Makes a dash to the front door of the doom house at night.
  • Sherlock Scan: Officer Cop picks up all the tell-tale signs of a doom house when he notices plastic baggies.
  • Shout-Out
    • In an early scene, Linux is seen reading Barry Glassner's Fear, which is intended to be a Foreshadowing of the fear that will soon find its way into the heart of Reginald P. Linux.
    • There is also a Shout-Out to Cubivore, as evidenced by actor Rich Kyanka's shirt.
  • Skyward Scream: Linux in his bedstack after he finds that the strange figurine has followed him there.
  • Slasher Smile: Officer Cop sports one while holding up a sinster-looking dust pan after a Face-Heel Turn.
  • Sole Survivor: Reginald P. Linux is the only one who survives the horrors of the doom house.
  • Staircase Tumble: The terrorist takes a spill down a basement staircase when attacked by the Creepy Doll.
  • Stunt Double: Averted. Kyanka and Bowen did all their own stunts.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: By mrSimon34. Enjoy!
  • Tagline:
    • "Be careful what you dream for... because you just might get it!"
    • "The Movie So Evil that the Best Boy and Key Grip Committed Suicide"
  • Travelling at the Speed of Plot: Officer Cop arrives at the doom house before Linux is finished speaking on the phone with the emergency operator.
  • Visual Pun: The terrorist declares, "I'm so bored" while clutching a wooden board.
  • Wham Line: "You stubborn mule, now you know the secret—I am a terrorist, and this house was built over our terrorist burial camp!"
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: A given considering the horrified faces that Reginald makes.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Averted. The terrorist identifies himself explicitly as being a terrorist.

The Dionaea HouseHorror Web OriginalsThe Doomy Adventures Of Irken Doominess

alternative title(s): Doom House; Mood House; The Doom Housu2001; Doom House; Mood House
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