Something Creeping in the Dark (1971)

Qualcosa Striscia nel Buio may mean Something Crawls in the Dark, but the inexact translation of the original title is what this played in the U.S. as.

A series of travelers are headed out into a foreboding evening — it was a cold, dark night — when they realize that a washed-out bridge means that they’re all finding shelter in the same house that was once the home of a lady occultist. The cars contain all manner of individuals with their own reasons for being out in the storm, like the two detectives transporting a restrained Farley Grainger, a fighting husband and wife, and a surgeon and his assistant.

Of course, one of these folks will decide to conduct a seance and that’s the point where everything falls to pieces. The result of this occult ritual is that everyone becomes possessed and starts acting like Ecstasy-loving maniacs. And with the phone lines not working, the bridge out and a storm outside — and now inside an emotional weather outburst happening — the movie transitions from giallo to outright gothic horror.

There’s also a butler named Joe who just happens to keep a pantsless woman who he occasionally makes love to, as well as a POV camera view that keeps happening, making this film stand out from the giallo pack somewhat as the ghost takes over each person, making them give in to their desires and even stopping clocks dead.

“Exorcism…the Occult…A Horror-Filled Night In A House Of Terror!” Writer and director Mario Colucci only directed one other movie, Revenge for Revenge, that he also wrote, directed and acted in. There are some interesting actors other than Granger here, such as Italian Neorealist actress Lucia Bosè (she’s also in Arcana), Giacomo Rossi Stuart (Kill, Baby, KillThe Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Angelo Francesco Lavagnino (who is in Fulci’s Beatrice Cenci as well as Orson Welles’ Othello and Chimes at Midnight) and Loredana Nusciak (Maria, the lover of Django) appearing as the photo of the lady of the house, who we are to believe is the ghost.

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