Monday, May 30, 2011

HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR, EPISODE 1: THE HOUSE THAT BLED TO DEATH (Tom Clegg, 1980)

A couple move into a dilapidated house, a run-down sepulcher now occupied by the spirit of greed. What at first seems to be a typical haunted house film that relies on genre tropes soon turns the corner into sublime prevarication, where the supernatural becomes the super rational.

The Peters and their little girl move into a house that was once the scene of a grisly murder, and soon blood seeps from the walls and the pet cat is dead. The neighbors try to help but the poltergeist activity only seems to happen when there is an eyewitness; such as the dual knives suddenly appearing, or a severed hand in the fridge, or the moist memorable scene of the child’s birthday party showered with clotted blood from a burst pipe! Cut to: months later, the once poor couple living the high life in Hollywood, rich from the film and book rights from their experience…which was all an elaborate setup, devised by their “realtor”. But the child becomes the true victim of the fraud, unable to differentiate fantasy from reality, her childhood haunted by these nightmare occurrences. She cuts to the chase…and the bone.

The episode is obviously a stab at the pronouncement of the Amityville Horror, home to a real homicide but claiming demonic presence for profit.


Final Grade:(B-)

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