Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The House That Screamed (1969, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador)


Although The House That Screamed is a slow burning movie, the movie still has plenty of violence and mayhem to satisfy fans of giallo and slasher movie type films, of which this movie is clearly both. I’m glad that I was unable to guess the identity of the killer, and I really liked this movie despite the characters being the user paper thin clichés that populate these types of movies. The boarding school setting works very well in the movie’s favor, and this flick is probably best known to fans of Elvira, as she featured the movie on her show back in the 1980s. Unfortunately this movie due to including a mother smothering her own son resulted in The House That Screamed being unfairly compared to Psycho, which is silly considering the two films are quite different in style and in tone.

The murders in this movie are pretty brutal, and there is one shot that is particularly gorgeous. You have issues of voyeurism, lesbian overtones and the oppression of those in charge of the school, all which come to a head at one point or another. I’ve seen better foreign slasher movies sure, yet The House That Screamed is a good slow burn and offers a fantastic and super creepy finale. I’ll never forget that ending, that’s for sure. Oh and I’m pretty convinced that Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s film inspired or had an influence on multiple later, better slasher movies down the road. Alas there is a lack of house screaming, which is made up for human screams. Lots of human screams.

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: Stage Fright (1987, Michele Soavi)


When it comes to Michele Soavi’s body of work, Stage Fright is probably one of the more straightforward of his movies. Yet even this 1980s giallo has a lot of weird touches, and that is what makes this psycho killer goes after theater people movie more interesting than most. Naturally the kills are brutal, and Soavi tries to present characters that are not as paper thin as the ones in a typical slasher movie. Oh and Stage Fright takes the cliche of “All the dead people rounded up” and dials it up to 11 with a great, memorable scene that can be found easily via Google.

Barbara Cupisti is great as the final girl, and David Brandon also is the crazed director who at time poses as much a threat to the cast as the killer does with his awful decisions. Even though the last act goes on way too long, and the ending feels tacked on, I rather enjoyed Stage Fright. As far as 1980s slasher and giallos go this one was one of the best, and is well made. Even hardcore cinema buffs can appreciate a movie that even if it is not great still achieves what it sets out to do, with some extra flair thrown in for style points.

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