The Movie Waffler Mike’s Strange Cinema Cavalcade - HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY | The Movie Waffler

Mike’s Strange Cinema Cavalcade - HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY

house by the cemetery review
Blue Underground polish the gates of Hell.

Review by Mike Vaughn

Directed by: Lucio Fulci

Starring: Catriona MacColl, Giovanni Frezza, Paola Malco, Silvia Collatina, Giovanni De Nava

house by the cemetery bluray

The third and final film in Lucio Fulci’s ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy, House by the Cemetery seems to be the one people least talk about. Sure, it's not as good as The Beyond or City of the Living Dead but it's still a film very much in keeping with Fulci’s other ultra-gore-soaked fever dreams.

A couple and their young son move into a charming New England home, and all seems perfect for the young family. Things soon spiral into a waking nightmare however, as the new occupants are plagued by horrific happenings that stem from the home’s gruesome past.

house by the cemetery review

From minute one, Fulci masterfully turns the screws for the audience, giving us a nice moment of suspense paid off by his signature pension for splatter. While House isn’t as well thought out as the other two films in the trilogy, the concept is still interesting and the buildup and pay off to Doctor Freudstein is nicely handled. I also love the slightly surreal imagery that gives the film an off-balanced, other worldly vibe. I respect the fact that Fulci turns the haunted house genre on its ear with his own flavour.

[ READ MORE: Blu-Ray Review - Don't Torture a Duckling ]

And speaking of this, the film has a nice visual style. I know Argento is the more stylish out of the two but I think Fulci never gets enough credit in this field. He uses colours well and makes the most of his palate without going over-board.

house by the cemetery review

The film is not without its silly moments - the bat attack scene for example hasn’t aged very well but honestly, it's not nearly as cringey as the spider scene in The Beyond. For gorehounds it's not as gory as Fulci’s other films like Zombie, New York Ripper etc. There are also some lulls in the story, which is not great for a film that’s under 90 minutes long.

Overall, I’ve always had a soft spot for this movie, which was an early rental for me. It's fun despite it lacking in the story and pacing department.

[ READ MORE: Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - Razor Killers, Zombies and Maniacs ]

Blue Underground has been killing it lately with their 3-Disc Limited Edition Series and they are kicking off 2020 right with this release. Let's start off by saying this new print is stunning! Restored in 4k 1080p, the colours pop and it's incredible when you compare it to previous releases. I had high expectations and this release met them and more! The sound is also on point and sports a nice robust 5.1 Digital Master. Dialogue is clear and it also highlights the score by Walter Rizzati.

house by the cemetery review

All the previous special features were ported over onto this new release and of course new ones are included, making this a must own even if you already have the previous Blu Ray release. Troy Howarth, author of 'Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films', provides an incredibly entertaining commentary. Howarth as always, really knows his stuff and the track is both informative and a lot of fun.

The third disc is the soundtrack, featuring the score by Rizzati. Finally we get a booklet featuring a new essay by film historian Michael Gingold. This is already on my short list for best release of this year and I am always excited to see what is next for Blue Underground. Horror fans should consider this a must own.

House by the Cemetery is on blu-ray January 21st from Blue Underground.

Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcast named their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”

His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @gorehound_mike.