6/24/11

The House That Screamed (1969) Review

The Suspense is Sheer Torture in ... "The House That Screamed"

The House That Screamed
The House That Screamed or La Residencia is a gothic-y Spanish horror film by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, the same guy who directed Who Can Kill a Child?.  It's frequently compared to Italian supernatural horror/giallo master Dario Argento's Suspiria and I guess the two films have similarities in that they both take place at all-girls schools and have abusive headmistresses, but never once was I reminded of the Italian classic while watching this film.  The House That Screamed does have a Hammer horror feel to it though because of the dark, gothic atmosphere.

It's certainly not a bad film but it drags at times and doesn't really stand out as anything special among the many other dark, gothic, evil governess/headmistress films out there.  

It has a few things going for it that make it worth watching, however.  The acting is great, and the sets and gloomy, claustrophobic atmosphere are really the heart and soul of this film, but it's the ending that I liked the best and I'm sure it shocked the hell out of  audiences back in 1969.  It's similar to Lucky McKee's May which came out 33 years later and if you've seen that movie I guess I've just ruined the ending of The House That Screamed for you.  My bad.  "So many pretty parts and no pretty wholes."

"Nice bloomers, bitch."

Teresa, a young woman with a sordid past, is brought to a finishing school where she is to be taught the skills crucial to landing and keeping a husband. The girls are all pretty much bitches and the headmistress is the bitchiest of them all.  Girls who do not adhere to the strict rules imposed at this school are sent to the "discipline chamber" where their attitudes are adjusted to the conformity desired by the bitchy headmistress.  

There's also a lot of sexual tension and sometimes encounters among the girls and any man who is lucky enough to penetrate the walls of the school.  This includes the deliveryman and the headmistress's handsome but mentally slow son.  The creepy, overprotective mother won't let her precious son have anything to do with the girls at the school because they aren't good enough for him like mommy is.  She and her mentally incompetent boy also have some sort of incestuous thing going on which is never explicitly shown, but is obvious... and gross.   He has flings with the girls at the boarding school anyway including Teresa, and these girls start to get murdered one by one.  And just like the tagline of this film says, "only the killer knows why and how and who is next!"

It's a decent film, kinda slow but it has a good ending.


Violence Rating/Index: 2.5 out of 5
Booby Rating/Index: 1.5 out of 5







14 comments:

D4 said...

Decent slow film with a nice ending and fair acting.

Yes please.

Colin Biano said...

A whip scene, AND a shower scene? count me in

The Angry Lurker said...

Interested in the ending now.

-E- said...

not often you get a period horror film. scary things always seem to happen in the present for some reason.

Henry said...

Sounds interesting after that review I expected the Booby rating to be higher

ed said...

appealing but doesnt really look scary

Bart said...

ahh i get it, it a house theme this week

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I kind of want a bitchy headmistress...maybe just for a night. I am watching that Japanese Hausu movie tonight with my friend Capt. Morgan and his girlfriend Mary Jane, really looking forward to it!

A Beer for the Shower said...

Have to agree with Colin. Lashing and lathering are a winning combination.

70A3 said...

Old Spanish films like this one have such a strong atmosphere and a certain kind of 'worn celluloid' allure. Sometimes I just want to break out of the grayness and into this dreamy, shadowy world...

hoaks2 said...

Looks alright. But, not very violent and surprisingly less boobies than one would expect for a film taking place in an all girls school. I'm just gonna pass on this one.

Alex said...

Awesome blog! Gonna see that movie. Follow you

cjk98 said...

I have to say, when I clicked on this blog, I thought it would have furries. Luckily, this was not the case.

blorriepoes said...

lol nice review gonna check the movie out!
+follow

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