#TBT #HorrorMovie #Review – The House by the Cemetery (1981)

Over dramatic acting made the horror movie genre what it is, and The House By The Cemetery doesn’t disappoint. The soundtrack is great, and very cheesy giving exclamation points to scenes that would be almost ordinary without them. In places it just stops for no reason, then starts again, which I thought was comical. The gore is some of the most fantastic stuff I’ve ever seen. The bat alone must have at least five gallons of blood. Power zooming onto eyes reminded me of the 1931 Dracula, and other vintage delights.

Dr. Norman Boyle moves his family to live in Oak Mansion (Freudstein’s House) in New England for his research that a colleague of his had started about Dr. Freudstein. Everyone in town seems to recognize Dr. Boyle, though he insists he’s never been there before; I wish they would’ve made a better connection with that, because I still don’t know what they were getting at. Bob, the son, somehow has a psychic connection with Mae, who tells him several times to stay away from the house, but of course, being a kid he doesn’t have a choice, it’s where he lives with his parents.. Giovanni Frezza plays Bob Boyle, and his voice is grating at times.

Lucy Boyle has a flash of images that Mae had seen, adding more to her psychosis; but this only happened once, and I thought if it’d happened more it would’ve been better. Her screams are amazing. She had a scene that didn’t make sense to me, she didn’t have a vision or anything, but for some reason Mae’s doll, which Bob suddenly has in the park and brings home, missing an arm and leg freaks her out, and her husband asks if she’s been taking her medication.

The babysitter, Ann, she has a distant stare, and rips the boards from a door; what could she possibly want that’s beyond it? Her effigy looses its head while Mae watches in a storefront window. Ann cleans up blood of the realtor with no problem. She reminds me of one of Charles Manson’s girls, the way she acts and stares with her trippy eyes. She was so intent in opening the door, but once she’s behind it, she doesn’t like it. This was another thing I didn’t understand, what was her motivation for wanting behind that door?

Creaking floors, children’s crying, rattling pipes alert us that something is about to happen, but we never see who is doing the killing until the end. Dr. Freudstein is the culprit and gross, especially after Dr. Boyle stabs him and nasty stuff comes out of the wound. Was that…no, they wouldn’t. Would they?

If you come across this gem while scrolling through titles, you should definitely watch it. The House By The Cemetery has it all, and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars.

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