"The House By The Cemetery (1981/Blu-ray/Blue Underground)" Review

Review: My personal history with this film is that of it being the first film I ever saw that Lucio Fulci directed. Many years back I picked up a Diamond release of the film for quite cheap off a blind buy and from then I was hooked. I couldn't get enough of Lucio Fulci. Like a many of his other horror films go this one grabs you by the neck with it's maggot filled hand and does not let go.

House By The Cemetery follows a young boy named Bob and his mother Lucy as theymoved away from their city apartment to a house that is located next to a cemetery. Before they leave Bob sees a girl in a picture of the house who warns him not to go, like a typical parent after Bob tells his mother she does not take him seriously (which is very much like The Shining). Things start to get weird shortly after they arrive at the house, which leads to some very tense moments of pure terror and a showdown with the maggot infested Dr. Freudstein.
Fulci does exactly what you would expect from a film of his in this genre and that is he delivers a great atmosphere that is interlaced with extreme violence and gore by the barrels full. Sometimes I do find that he does concentrate a bit too much on the violence and gore, but for the most part in this film he does do a good job with keeping the atmosphere creepy. There is many scenes that stick out to me but one in particular that always has stuck out the most. That scene is when  plays this audio recorder and it has this researcher talking about Dr. Freudstein's house and he says the lines "Freudstein's house it draws me in like an infernal magnet, it frightens me, how many have wondered innocently into the waiting spider web, how many are doomed to follow, the smell of the rooms terrifies me, the smell of blood!". That with the creepy music and scenes of body parts and corpses makes for some great horror.
That part of the film was also used in the song "House By The Cemetery" from death metal legends Mortician, which added positively to that song as it did to the film. Now as far as the acting goes I could not find anything wrong with the performances of 3 time Fulci film actress Catriona MacColl or that of 2 time Fulci film actor Paolo Malco, but I must say that the character Bob (played by Giovanni Frezza) was absolute annoying in too many scenes, kinda like the boy from The Shining. Both of which I hoped would just get slaughtered half way through the film. Other than that I was pleased with the entire cast. I espcially like Lucio's Hitchcock inspired appearance in this film.
One thing I can say is that you can very much tell the Lovecraft inspiration in House By The Cemetery, mainly of course with it's supernatural side. On a side note I think Rob Zombie was inspired from the look of Dr. Freudstein when he designed Dr. Satan's henchman's face. I could be wrong but that is what I noticed. For those who are looking for some top notch gore and some pretty terrifying scene with just enough atosphere to chill your spine should look no further and pick this film up!
 On top of an awesome film you get it looking the best it has ever on any home video format. The film grain is intact which really helps add to the detail which is great. Along with the film you get a good amount of special features that are in HD and are mainly interviews with cast and crew members as well as deleted scenes ( not in HD), theatrical trailers, tv spot, and a poster & still gallery. All of which makes this the essential House By The Cemetery experience!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Lucio Fulci
Genre: Horror
Blu-Ray Release Year: 2011
Theatrical Release Year: 1981
Time Length: 86 mins.
Company: Blue Underground
Website: www.blue-underground.com