The House by the Cemetery (1981)

And here the old boy goes for horror again. A horribly dubbed young boy is the only person who can see and hear the ghost of a less horribly dubbed young girl, who warns him to stay away from the house his parents are moving into. Daddy’s moving the family there cos he’s got a job picking up the research of a colleague who went mad there and committed murder-suicide. The townsfolk seem to think he’s been down their way before, but he insists otherwise. Meanwhile Mummy’s got prescription drug issues, there’s miscellaneous strange noises coming from the house, a creepy babysitter who looks just like a mannequin the ghost girl sees decapitated, remarkably fake but remarkably tenacious bats, a tombstone in the middle of the floor belonging to the house’s original tenant from a century earlier, and something decidedly not right is happening in the cellar. Got this on loan from Brendan, who didn’t give it the highest recommendation, and I wasn’t really expecting amazing things either, but in the end I didn’t think it was too bad. Certainly I didn’t think it was quite so aggressively weird as City of the Living Dead or The Beyond, the story is a bit more sensible on the whole, which is not to say that there aren’t big individual bleeding chunks that make no sense at all. Still, this piece makes a bold attempt to try and justify a few of them (as well as providing a hilarious Freudian reading), and also usefully notes that earlier releases of the film made it seem even scattier. There is indeed something to be said for having waited some decades for films like this to be properly re-released before seeing them. Good lord, though, the dubbing. I wish this had been one of those subtitled bilingual editions (like the Argentos we saw recently, or indeed Blue Underground’s Zombie), just to see if Bob was less heinous to have to listen to in Italian…


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