The House by the Cemetery

1981 [ITALIAN]

Action / Horror

25
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 45% · 11 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48% · 5K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.1/10 10 16344 16.3K

Director

Top cast

Lucio Fulci as Professor Muller
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 2160p.BLU.x265
794.15 MB
1280*544
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
Seeds 3
1.44 GB
1920*816
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
Seeds 17
3.92 GB
3840*1642
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
Seeds 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dopefishie 3 / 10

Fulci's most overrated film

I know Fulci fans like this film. I wanted to like it too. But I just don't see it. It drones on so slowly. The bat scene was gratingly awful. The child (Bob) was gratingly awful. There were giant gaps in logic and plot such as disappearing blood and possessed doors that had nothing to do with the underlying genre (monster in the basement).

The only thing worth recommending is the monster who has a pretty disturbing look! However, he only appears in the last 10 minutes of the film, and he mainly just walks veeeeery sloooowly. And stands still. He also stands still a lot too.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 5 / 10

Amytivlle Horror rip off but not bad.

OK, this one has some genuine frights. It's cheaply made, cheesily acted and not at all fresh, but considering the amount of horror garbage that I've been forcing myself to watch, this one is classic by comparison. Some of the shocks just take the gore way to far, but the frightening moments really took me by shock. I prefer suspense over blood and guts, and if it's done right, I will be genuinely chilled to the bone. So I have seen this plot before, but at least it made an impression on me.

The opening scene is a shocker, so beware. It sets up the visual of the little boy looking at a picture of a mysterious house, and he is shocked when he ends up in the house near Boston with his parents also recognizing it. Mommy seems to be having some sort of breakdown as they settle in, and when they go into the basement, an encounter with a bat really sets everybody (including me) on edge. The scary scenes, for the most part, really help move the story along.

Surprised by the fact that this kept my interest, I couldn't help but turn away in the really grizzly scenes that include decapitations and disembowelment. But that didn't take away from my overall impression of the film, because I knew that the conclusion would be intense and tie everything together. So if you are as squeamish as I am, be prepared. This one is worth putting up with those moments.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 6 / 10

Standard haunted house flick not up to the level of Fulci's zombie masterpieces

Following on from his "zombie invasion" trilogy, Fulci returned to the realm of the undead in THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, a slightly disappointing movie considering how much I love the first three. Although not without its moments, HOUSE is let down by a very slow pacing which is unlike Fulci in his prime, and the usual problems with cheap Italian movies: bad dubbing, acting, and editing. Standing alone, THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is still an enjoyable film, nice and mysterious with a plentiful smattering of gore, but compared to his earlier works it appears as a confused, sometimes boring mess. As one other reviewer has said, the film is "trivial" in comparison to his zombie epics and seems more akin to one of the much-despised slasher movies filling the screens from the period.

Things start well with an atmospheric Gothic music score playing over the credits (sadly its only used later for the ending credits). The typical blonde bimbo and her dumb boyfriend are seen making love in abandoned house, only to be imaginatively killed (the girl gets a huge old knife shoved right through her skull!). We're introduced to the main bunch of characters, who this time aren't up to Fulci's standard. At least the obligatory Fulci cameo is in there, right at the beginning too. The male lead is played by Paolo Malco, who is no Christopher George, David Warbeck, or even Ian McCulloch.

Instead, he's a boringly studious type who spends all of his time hanging out in the library instead of with his wife and child. Thankfully that wife is played by Catriona MacColl, who was so good as the lead in THE BEYOND. Although her role and acting aren't as accomplished in this movie, her presence does certainly lift things a bit. The family is rounded out by Giovanni Frezza as "Bob", the blond-haired nuisance of a son. Frezza joins the troupe of weird-looking Italian child actors and his presence is a most irritating one in the film. Other familiar faces like those of Carlo de Mejo and John Olson pop up occasionally but the film is mainly centred around the three family members.

Things move very slowly at first, although Fulci does take pains to build up the atmosphere in the spooky house by having some creepy music and lots of shadows. There's a surreal scene where a shop mannikin's head is chopped off and Bob befriends a young girl who turns out to be the ghost child of the killer (as you do). Eventually - at around the halfway mark - things begin to happen. The father ventures into the cellar for the first time (what took him so long?) and is attacked by an evil toy shop bat which bites open his hand. In retaliation he stabs it repeatedly with a kitchen knife which makes a right old mess everywhere! Meanwhile Fulci keeps things moving by throwing in a grisly tracking shot of some splattery body parts, while the family's estate agent (played by giallo starlet Dagmar Lassander) arrives to find that nobody's home and gets stabbed by Dr Freudstein, a previous occupier who is now a zombie living in the cellar. Also killed is the weirdo housekeeper, a lady with demonic eyebrows who hangs around suspiciously and mops up a huge bloodstain without thinking to enquire where it came from in the first place! Bob ventures into the cellar to discover the housekeeper's decapitated head (and is alarmed by the film's best scare, the materialisation of two glowing yellow eyes in the dark). His mother hears his girlish screams and rescues him. Being a stupid movie character, Bob decides to go down into the cellar later on and finds himself trapped, and comes face to face with Freudstein who is now an effectively ghoulish rotting corpse (who bleeds maggots when stabbed), and who also moves extremely slowly.

Well, that's the movie in a nutshell, although bear in mind that I've written about all of the action and none of the slow atmosphere-building scenes in between where little happens. The movie benefits from some excessive gore from father-and-son team Giannetto and Gino de Rossi, which is as graphic as previous Fulci masterpieces but doesn't have the same level of imagination behind it. Otherwise everything else is merely perfunctory, with forgettable dumb music (apart from the theme) and direction from Fulci which is spoiled by his need for eye closeups. If you're looking for a standard haunted house flick then this one is worth a look, and there are a lot worse, but it's no masterpiece and not up to the same level of the director's earlier work.

Read more IMDb reviews

14 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment