The House by the Cemetery (1981)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Haunted House Film, Supernatural Horror  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - R
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House By The Cemetery isn't your average haunted house movie. It's the Lucio Fulci version of a haunted house movie, which means that atmosphere is favored over a carefully structured narrative and the shocks often feature extreme, shocking gore (for instance, the opening features one of the more unusual and squirm-inducing stabbings ever shown in a horror movie). Thus, House By The Cemetery isn't for horror fans expecting something as subtle as The Haunting but the film is worthwhile for those who can enjoy a more gruesome and surreal style of horror. Fulci fully capitalizes on the creep-factor of his storyline and mixes in effective bits of subtle, often dreamlike creepiness between the big shocks. The acting in the English language version is impaired a bit by some odd dubbing (particularly the voice used for the family's son) but the actors do a solid job reacting to the film's horrors, particularly frequent Fulci star Catriona MacColl. Finally - and most importantly for a shocker like this -- the film boasts a memorably grueling finale that is capped with a haunting, unexpectedly subtle coda. In short, House By The Cemetery is primarily for Euro-horror fans with strong stomachs -- but this is the kind of atmospheric grue that is perfect for said audience.