Posted by: ckckred | July 20, 2012

House of Games: A Mamet Masterpiece

A truly underrated film, House of Games is a terrific thriller

When I first saw House of Games, I enjoyed it, but a few years later I began to love the film.  It’s a gripping movie that gives it’s dues to Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense.  David Mamet, the director, is known for putting many twists in his works, and in House of Games, this is especially evident.

House of Games is about a psychiatrist named Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse), who specializes in addictive behavior.  When one of her patients tells her he’s afraid of being murdered by a gambler named Mike (Joe Mantegna, whom many Simpsons fans would know as Fat Tony and has also starred in The Godfather Part III) whom he owes money to, Ford decides to meet him and try to pay off the debt.  Soon Ford gets entangled with Mike, who runs a gang that trick people out of their money.  She wants to study him, examine him, and discover his methods.

I don’t want to go any further for fear that I might spoil one of the many surprises in the movie for you.  Indeed, the movie feels so unpredictable that you never know what’s going to happen.

What’s really impressive about the film is that it’s Mamet’s debut as a director.  He gives the movie a dark, shadowy look, and gives it a fast pace.  Mamet also wrote the story, which is not only quick and clever, but also believable, a rarity among most films these days.  Not a moment in the film is dull or feels to long.

The acting in the film is incredible too.  Crouse, who’s actually Memet’s wife, is fantastic as Ford, and shows us how someone could fall apart.  Mantegna is great as Mike, and feels perfect in the role.  I can’t imagine what the movie would be like without these two.

Overall,  House of Games is a classic thriller.  If you’re a fan of Hitchcock, you’ll love this film.  With great performances, direction, and screenwriting, House of Games is a must-see.

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