In a word, House of 1000 Corpses was good. In another word, it was disappointing. In a few words, it wasn't what I expected at all.
I had heard that Rob Zombie was trying to make a 70's horror movie. For some reason, I immediately thought it was going to be a zombie movie. I mean, the guy's name is Zombie for God's sake. Plus, what other kind of horror movie was made in the 70's except zombie movies? Tons of zombies and not much else comes from the 70's. But, alas, this wasn't a zombie movie. It was a "kids get abducted by a weird family and weird shit happens to them" horror movie. Come to think of it, there were a few of those in the 70's too, most notably Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I Spit on your Grave, The Hills Have Eyes, uh... I'm drawing a blank, but there's a few more I can't remember.
Anyway, that's the type of movie it was. Rob said he wanted to make it a horror movie like in the 70's, without this Scream comedy self-referential bullshit nonsense. He did that. No crappy "this is only a movie" jokes or 1-liners, which was awesome. But, I also thought it was going to LOOK like a 70's movie. The kids were all dressed in 70's clothes, and the movie itself took place in 77. But, again, alas, it looked like a bad music video from 1997. They'd cut to ridiculous scenes that didn't have any effect on the movie and the colors would get all funky and stupid. The split screen scenes were way, way, way overplayed. There were scenes where all the action was taking place on 1 side of the screen and the other side was a mirror image of it. Why? I don't know, but it was stupid and gay and lame.
All these directors are coming out now and saying "I loved the horrors of the 70's and 80's, so I'm gonna make one like those!", but they all find a way to fuck it up. I thought Rob would do it right, since I know he's a big fan and the movie was made without any studio interference. The only problem I had with it was the weird music video elements and the weird (big spoiler here) techno-cyber-robotic guys at the end. I know, it sounds like I'm kidding there. I wish I was.
To his credit, I hear the studio chopped the hell out of the movie to get an R instead of an NC-17. Maybe the NC-17 will be better, but I can't see how. I imagine it was just more blood and gore, which isn't even necessary in a horror movie. Texas Chainsaw had very little gore, and that's a classic, great horror flick.
If you're a horror fan like me, you'll see this movie no matter what I recommend. So see it. If you're not, then I'd wait for video or skip it altogether.
After the movie, I went over to Alan's and watched 1 Hour Photo. That movie was 1,000 times creepier than 1,000 Corpses.