A young family moves into a house with a past: the previous owner was the deranged Dr. Freudstein, whose monstrous human experiments have left a legacy of bloody mayhem. Now, home sweet home is about to become a horrific hell on earth.
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Part of the Fulci aesthetic is incompetence; senseless plotting, terrible dialog, a gratuitous showing-off of special effects to the point of almost celebrating the phoniness of it all. However the film isn't without merit. There's unforgettable imagery here; a bleeding tombstone; a slashed artery so lovingly filmed it becomes like a dance; a clever foreshadowing to the eventual twist with a mannequin window display.
Fulci, who was quite prolific in this time period, presents another horror that doesn't live up to the films that preceded it (The Beyond, City of the Living Dead). Lots of blood for the gorehounds but the story is so slight that no opportunity for real fear exists. Yet another film in which one almost wants to slay the young protagonist themselves.
Sanglant et horrible au possible, un film secondaire qui néglige toutes les ouvertures vers le fantastique pour alimenter son scénario de baveuses scènes-chocs, inutiles et stupides ... www.cinefiches.com
Critiquing art is not a science. It's intuitive, an investigation of emotion felt while experiencing it. And, Lucio Fulci, is a filmmaker that often lacks comprehension, and thus, purely invokes an emotional response. That's also why I go through long periods of loving, then hating his work, and then liking it again, etc. This nears The Beyond's lucid nightmare state: fleetingly tangible, if emotionally cryptic.
Draws a lot from classic American horror movies of the previous decade, but the end result is, surprisingly, NOT a hot mess. Slightly stale, but the haunting and vague ending carries echoes from the more excellent The Beyond, and there's a great ghoul at the focal point. Relatively dreamlike and creepy, just not my favorite Fulci.
I really struggle with Lucio Fulci's horror offerings. They tend to be poorly acted, poorly dubbed and the premises are both ridiculous and unconvincing. A lot of the same criticisms can be levelled at Argento and Bava but at least those two consistently deliver on an aesthetic level. Don't get me wrong, there are some beautiful sequences and striking imagery here, but there's also a lot of awkward and clunky ones.
Fulci's take on the slasher genre. Considered part of his "Gates of Hell" Trilogy but very unlike the other two. Lacking in creativity and plagued by a generic soundtrack. When Freudstein finally shows up, the film comes alive, but one is left frustrated by the out of place twist ending. The fabricated Henry James quote that Fulci ends the film with is just the cherry on top of a very confusing, maggoty cake.
Somber landscapes, cobwebs and dust with melancholic atmosphere and of course, worms and rotting flesh. Taking into account that it functions somewhere between Frankenstein, haunted house and zombie flick, this movie brings almost every little horror detail to celebrate whether if it wants to be a grindhouse trash or the art macabre. Perfect for All Saints Day because it's too much of a downhill for Halloween.