Horrorfest 2018 Presents: The House By The Cemetery (1981, Lucio Fulci)


Finally at last I finished Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy, and the last one is the best of the three, so I guess that works out. The House By The Cemetery is a slasher film, a Frankenstein style mad scientist movie, and a ghost movie all rolled into one glorious Italian horror movie package. Its odd that as I grow older and see more of his films I have grown to appreciate Fulci, who certainly loved showing gore in his films but also worked in that same eerie, dreamlike atmosphere as his more famous and better liked colleagues.  House is also a clear influence on the great modern day horror film We Are Still Here, which I previously reviewed. A heartly thanks to Shudder for enabling me to see this 1980s classic.

Poor Bob keeps getting warnings telling him and his parents to stay away from that old creepy house in New England. These warnings should have been heeded, because there are freaky things lurking in the basement. The house, like so many old houses, keeps its own dark, ancient secrets. Norman and Lucy Boyle, Bob’s parents, wish to investigate since Norman’s former co-worker lost his sanity in that very house. Unlike the other two films in The Gates of Hell trilogy, which were zombie films, The House By The Cemetery works mostly as a slasher film.

Fulci was able to create some truly great moments despite his limitations, and The House By The Cemetery showcases those skills. The bat scene is freaky and gory, and there are multiple scenes that are intense and really creepy. Naturally it has a typically strange Italian horror conclusion, although its not too confusing by most horror movie standards. If anything this convinces me to further explore more of Fulci’s work, as I have already seen an okay amount of his movies. Oh and that score is unreal, another reminder that music matters a lot in cinema, period.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: We Are Still Here (2015, Ted Geoghegan)


Barbara Crampton is the official actress of my Horrorfest. She’s been in a lot of famous and notable horror films, one of her latest being the creepy modern classic horror flick We Are Still Here. This film is one big wonderfully gory and frightening homage to 1980s horror films. I also love how this movie utilizes empty and quiet spaces, reminding the viewer how the mundane and the everyday can be truly unsettling.

Anne (Crampton) and Paul (Andrew Sensenig) are a grieving couple who lost their son in a car accident. Moving into an old New England house is supposed to aid then in grieving, yet instead it leaves them open to attack from dark forces beyond the grave. It’s interesting how this film also manages to move across different horror sub genres with ease.

Oh and that last act is truly something else. I didn’t expect this film to be so violent, and I was also amused by Larry Fessenden, one of the few directors to be a decent actor. We Are Still Here is tragic, comedic, terrifying and memorable. I’m a sucker for haunted house movies. This one is more than just that, in spades.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑