Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Funeral Home (1980)

1978's Halloween launched the "shadowy figure murders lots of folks" film on an unsuspecting world, beginning a horror movie revolution that would culminate in the slasher film.  Ironically, one of the key aspects of the genre's final form - the prominence and importance of the killer as a character in the film - was entirely absent from the progenitor.

This movie was released just two years later; the same time as the first Friday the 13th, in fact, and like that film it hews much more closely to the Halloween formula than to the later model.  It also seems to owe more than a little debt to Psycho, though it doesn't really deserve to be discussed in the same breath as Hitchcock's film.

Heather is a college student who is spending her summer vacation helping her grandmother run her new bed & breakfast business.  Grandma Maude has established this endeavour in what used to be the local funeral home.  There's no way such a decision could prove to be a bad one, is there?

As I am sure you are shocked to learn, guests at the B&B soon start "checking out" without notice.  Heather comes to suspect that the building's cellar figures into the mystery: Maude keeps the room locked but Heather has heard voices coming from it, and believes that someone must be living down there.  It takes her rather a long time to get around to doing anything about this belief though.

"Takes rather a long time" is something of a theme of the film, to be honest.  Like a lot of cheaply made horror films it tends to be long on people talking about the creepy things that are happening, rather than actually having creepy things happen.

You'd be better off watching any of the other films mentioned in this review than this one.

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