House Party 2023 Movie Review
Reimagining old classics is considered a risky business with one of either two outcomes – a successful hit or a dreadful miss that could see its cult following come at the remakers with verbal whips and clubs for soiling the reputation of their precious gem. While taking on remakes is more or less a dicey affair, it’s not enough to intimidate filmmakers who often welcome the challenge to add a modern twist to old classics. This is what the new creators of House Party are aiming for in the remake of the 90s classic.
The upcoming House Party seems poised to avoid the dreaded flop as the remake is the brainchild of two fans of the franchise, NBA legend LeBron James and Maverick Carter, his producing partner. House Party will be produced by King James’ SpringHill Entertainment which has established a glowing reputation with acclaimed projects such as Adam Sandler’s Hustle and the Netflix crime drama, Top Boy. SpringHill will collaborate with New Line Cinema to bring the project to fruition but instead of going with a classic theatrical release, House Party seeks to appeal to a younger generation and will be going straight to streaming on HBO Max. To ensure that the remake retains the quality for which the classic was revered, the producing team has brought on board Oscar-nominee Reginald Hudlin (Marshall), who directed and wrote the original movie. This time around, Hudlin will be giving up the director’s chair to instead serve as one of the executive producers alongside Warrington Hudlin, as well as SpringHill’s Spencer Beighley and Jamal Henderson.
James has clearly stated that House Party will not be a reboot but “an entirely new look for a classic movie.” Delivering a tickling script with a modern twist for the film are Emmy-nominees Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori, who have both previously penned the script for several episodes of the acclaimed comedy series Atlanta. Judging by the combined wealth of experience of the creative team behind this new project, it is safe to say that fans of the franchise are in for a treat. We’re also excited about what’s in store, thus we’ve brought you every detail you need to know as you anticipate House Party’s release.
The original classic, released in 1990, followed two high schoolers nicknamed Kid and Play on a wild night of partying at the latter’s house while his parents are away on vacation. Kid is grounded by his father Pops and prohibited from going to the party, but he sneaks out as he just cannot afford to miss what promises to be the party of the year. A blend of humor, hip hop music, and inventive dance moves propelled House Party to a surprise hit in the 90s. The resultant ripple effect placed hip-hop on a pedestal, bringing the music genre some much-deserved mainstream appeal. A whopping four sequels would subsequently be released, turning House Party into a franchise in its own right. The creative team behind the remake looks like they are confident that the new movie has franchise potential too, and it hopes to achieve this by utilizing the basic themes from the original film to create a different storyline.
When a pair of down-on-their-luck house cleaners discover they’re assigned to clean the mansion of LeBron James while he’s overseas, they decide to make a life-changing decision to throw a giant party in a quest for immortality and some cash. As the party gets out of control and one of LeBron’s championship rings goes missing, they will be launched into a wild night that they will never forget.
Tasked with bringing the reinvented plot to life is acclaimed music video director Calmatic in what will be his feature film directorial debut. Calmatic gained mainstream recognition for directing the music video for the chart-topping song “Old Town Road” from Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, which won a Grammy and an MTV Video Music Award for Best Video.
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Tosin Cole were the first set of cast members announced for House Party, playing the two main leads of Kevin and Damon. However, following Lendeborg Jr.’s exit due to mental health issues, he was replaced by Jacob Latimore, who will now take on the role of Kevin. Another co-lead character, Venus, would later be announced to be portrayed by actress Karen Obilom.
Latimore, in addition to acting, is also a dancer and singer with a handful of records under his belt. He had his breakout role as Emmett in Showtime’s drama The Chi. Some of his film credits include The Last Summer, Like a Boss with Tiffany Haddish, and Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Cole, who’s had a pretty solid career in British TV shows, is best recognized as Ryan Sinclair in Doctor Who and as the lead character Moses Johnson in the legal drama 61st Street.
Rounding off the cast are musician DC Young Fly, Melvin Gregg (American Vandal), Rotimi (Power), Allen Maldonado (Straight Outta Compton), Shakira Ja’nai Paye (All Day and a Night), Andrew Santino (Dave), Bill Bellamy (A Dark Foe), and Tik Tok sensation Tamera Kissen.