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This is not your typical Italian horror movie for its time. It's actually more of a haunted house movie than anything else really, I only wish I could also say it was a very good one as well.

It perhaps sounds weird but haunted house movies really weren't that common in Italian cinema. It's weird, since Italy has such a rich history of horror movies but normally they picked a difference approach and style to the genre. In that regard, this movie is a bit of an unique watch, also for the fans of Lucio Fulci.

You also can't really call this movie a Giallo, while it still has some of the typical Giallo elements in it. It's more a common slasher, that also uses some other old school horror ingredients, that are often present in typical haunted house movies. It's obviously also quite unique that this is a haunted house movie, that somehow got combined with a slasher. The reason why it doesn't really quite work out has nothing to do with it that's a mismatch or anything but more with the fact that the story has far too little to offer. A real shame, since the idea of it seemed really interesting and it's something that could had really worked out well, only with a different and better script.

Problem is that the story is a bit of a lackluster, in which simply does not enough happen, that besides isn't all that well written, original, surprising, or making much sense really. It still could had been alright if the movie had a good creepy atmosphere or mysterious build-up to it but this wasn't really the case unfortunately. I mean, I love Lucio Fulci but let's face it; most of his movies aren't exactly high art. And this is a touch this movie required. It needed a more subtle and perhaps also more visual orientated approach, that could had made the movie so much more compelling to watch.

But a Fulci is still a Fulci movie. So don't worry, there still is plenty of gore in it! It's extremely over-the-top but no fan would ever complain about that. It also actually has a pretty good killer in it. Dr. Freudstein is one awesome and creepy looking villain but just not for this movie. I actually wished he would had been in a better movie, that way I'm sure he would had been a far more recognizable and memorable villain, even till this very day.

And does every Italian horror movie need to have a creepy little kid in it? It's funny how some things have become a custom over the years and have become a part of a certain style and way of film-making and storytelling. Lovers of Italian horror will surely recognize plenty of familiar elements of its genre in this movie, though it also starts to become apparent that the golden age of the genre was coming to an end and things were slightly starting to change.

Really not a great movie by any means and obviously far from Fulci's best but I'm still giving the movie points for its originality and the fact that it was trying to do something different, by combining different sub-genres and all of their typical, distinctive, elements.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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