Maybe we should actually try listening to what our kid’s invisible friends tell them?
The House by the Cemetery (1981)
Directed By: Lucio Fulci (Cat in the Brain)
Some days I just feel like watching some Lucio Fulci. The man’s work can catch my eye anytime, even if at times the results aren’t really that great. I’ve covered Zombi 2, I’ve covered Don’t Torture a Duckling, I’ve covered City of the Living Dead, and even Cat in the Brain, so why not watch and review The House by the Cemetery right? You’re probably asking yourself right now, “Why hasn’t he reviewed The Beyond??”. Well, I have that one..just got to get around to it. But let’s talk about The House by the Cemetery today OK!? I seem to get the vibe that this one gets looked over a lot, and it’s really kind of a shame.
Ignoring the warning signs, mainly those that came from their kid after a little girl nobody but he could see told him these things, a man and wife movie into an old house that just so happens to be placed next to a cemetery. Now just in the case that wasn’t creepy enough for you, someone..or perhaps some THING.. is living in the basement of that very same house and at times tends to come out and perform acts of horrific violence on those near. Just what the hell is going on? Whats the deal with that little girl?? And why does Fulci ALWAYS want closeups of people’s eyes?? I DON’T KNOW DAMN IT!!!
Like with pretty much every single Fulci films I have ever seen, this movie contains close up of eyes, plenty of gore that at times can look fake, things that don’t always make very much sense, and an ending that leaves a lot to be desired. BUT somehow this film, like all the rest (mostly), remains very watchable. While I’ll probably not shoot to the moon with the overall grade of the film, I do however think it’s got it’s fair share of re-watch value, if for anything just to try to put together some things that might not have added up all that well the very first time you watch it. I know a couple things kinda confused me..or maybe I’m just dumb?
I will say this, the movie has a great creepy feel to it and a great theme to boot. So with that alone, mixed with blood, you have a winner in my book. It never really slows down too much, and when it does it keeps it’s self from dragging, adding a much smoother time watching compared to other films of it’s time and other films by Fulci himself. The movie definitely contains a bit of a mystery to it, and even if you still have a few questions when the credits roll you find yourself into the story as you attempt to get some answers none the less. For better or worse, they don’t seem to make them like this anymore and even if the gore at times looks fake, I’d take faking looking natural gore over cartoon-like bad CGI any day of the week.
The acting here contains some folks you may have seen before in films by this director and that’s a good thing. I really like actress, Giovanni Frezza, and apparently Fulci did as well. While some of the rest can leave a bad taste in your mouth at times, possibly due to the dubbing, the acting holds up well enough for what it’s worth. I’m not sure I get Ania Pieroni role as the babysitter 100%, or if her acting was just a little bland at times. But I’ll be damn if she didn’t at least look good..Which makes me wounder why the hottest girl in the film has to always get off’d first in these damn things?? Anyone know that??
So anyway, the film it’s self is on par with many of Fulci’s other films containing what you’ve come to enjoy or hate by him in spades. I’d like to have a better understanding of the ending and maybe I just need to surf the net some more and look into it, or perhaps I should just play it off as another case of Fulci being Fulci and let it go. After all, it’s a much better film and has a better ending than his last film I reviewed, City of the Living Dead. It’s sorta as if he made a supernatural-ish slasher here. Or, perhaps that’s is JUST what he did make? Either way, a few minor complaints and common sense at times aside, I’d say it’s for sure worth checking out, if for nothing else the creepy factor and theme song.
Well I’ll admit it damn it, I liked it. Not THE best horror film in the world or anything, but if you are ever in the mood for a good throwback this one could be right down your horror loving ally. I just wish Fulci knew how to end a film better. Out of everything of his I’ve seen I think Zombi 2 had the best ending of the bunch with the others going from just “blah” to down right crazy. It’s about middle road here..Still worth seeing.
The Rating (6.5/10)