THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED is a moody little thriller out of Spain that benefited greatly from the success of PSYCHO like so many other films before it. The girls attending an isolated finishing school find it impossible to leave when several of their fellow classmates are discovered murdered after their attempted escapes from the oppressive institution. HOUSE's elegant settings and key cinematography are both reminiscent of Roger Corman's Poe adaptations crossed with the adolescent nightmares found in Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA. What is most interesting about this film is how the painfully slow pacing is broken up by intense moments of graphic gore that seem to come out of nowhere. These deaths are tastefully shot and are as unexpected as they are bloody, especially considering that the remainder of the film has all of the horror and suspense of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. It is not that the film was poorly made (quite the opposite, in fact), it is just entirely uneventful but for a few gruesome moments. If nothing else can be taken away from Serrador's film, its twisted and depraved ending will leave a lasting impression on the audience. The limited gore and early Slasher conventions that are established in THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED are still far ahead of their time, making this a worthwhile venture for Splatter fans.
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If you like THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED, check out:
HOUSE OF WHIPCORD, THE WOODS, SUSPIRIA.