The House Where Evil Dwells (1982)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Haunted House Film, Supernatural Horror  |   Release Date - May 14, 1982 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - Japan , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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The House Where Evil Dwells isn't likely to win over fans of traditional ghost stories. Despite a solid premise and a unique setting, this movie trades the subtle chills and creepy atmospherics of this subgenre for knee-jerk shocks, a dollop of softcore sex, and not one but two gory fight scenes. Subtleties like characterization and atmosphere fall by the wayside. However, a serious ghost story fan's loss is an exploitation movie fan's gain here. The House Where Evil Dwells may be lacking in subtlety, and more than a little silly, but director Kevin Connor keeps the pace tight, the look colorful, and the exploitable action front and center. The cast is also better than the story deserves: Edward Albert, Doug McClure, and Susan George all play their roles in a straight, sincere fashion, with George working up a convincing level of hysteria as the story builds. Most importantly, exploitation buffs will howl with delight during the finale, which combines swordplay, kung fu, body-hopping ghosts, and a few splashes of gore into a genuinely jaw-dropping capper. In short, serious horror fans need not apply for The House Where Evil Dwells, but trash fans will get a kick from its pulpy excesses.