PURE TERROR MONTH: The House by the Cemetery (1981)

About the Author: Paul Andolina is one of my favorite people to talk movies with. If you like his stuff, check out his site Wrestling with Film

The House by the Cemetery is an Italian horror film directed by Lucio Fulci from 1981. Fulci has been a favorite director of mine since I first started watching Italian horror films back in 2007. His film Zombi was one of my first forays into the milieu of Italian horror and I was hooked when I saw a zombie fight a shark.

The House by the Cemetery is about Norman Boyle and his family who move from New York to Boston. Norman is moving into Oak Mansion also known as the Freudstein house to research old houses. His colleague who was the previous tenant of the house committed suicide under unusual circumstances. Norman and his wife Lucy, have a son named Bob who sees a girl in a photo at his house in NY that tells him not to go to the house but his mom won’t listen. The house just so happened to a deranged doctor.

This film takes a while to get insane but it is so worth sticking through. If Bob’s hilarious dubbing doesn’t get you fully invested from the opening scene by the end of the film you’ll surely have witnessed something that really grabbed your attention. There is a scene where Norman listens to the ramblings of his colleague Dr. Peterson on a tape recorder that seems like the rambling of a tortured protagonist from a Lovecraft story, that is excellent.

The soundtrack is perfect for the movie and the imagery is haunting and beautiful. This film also heavily influenced Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here. In fact Ted made an entire thread on Twitter on how it influenced him. If you have somehow managed to not see The House By The Cemetery yet, you should check it out. It’s pretty crazy. 

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