Lucio Fulci is one of the most interesting and divisive directors in the horror genre. He made some erotic themed dramas before he created some of the most famous movies in Italian horror. He has helped create some of the most memorable gore gags while making many of us fans miss the good old days of over the top practical effects. The Beyond and Zombie are probably his most famous contributions to the genre, but he has plenty others in his filmography that deserve attention as well. HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is one of those movies that needs more exposure and Blue Underground is playing their part in getting it out there.
The Boyle family moves to Boston from New York into a now-abandoned home where one of the father’s colleagues killed himself and his mistress. Prior to arriving, their son, Bob, sees visions of a little girl from a photograph of that very house and warns him to stay away. A classic haunted house trope, but it never gets old. Upon arrival and the appearance of a suspicious new nanny, bodies start piling up in gruesome fashion and the secrets of the house begin literally pouring out.
The beauty of HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is that it is a region free release, so anyone in the world can watch even without a region free player. This is a big plus since Fulci has an international fanbase and they get to partake in the new 4K restoration which is an obvious upgrade from previous releases. There’s also a new 5.1 audio mix which allows a more modern listening experience compared to the mono track.
Along with the new restorations, there’s plenty of bonus features to explore across the two-disc set (Three if you include the thirty-one track soundtrack). There are multiple interviews with different cast members including Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Giovanni Frezza, Dagmar Lassander, and Carlo De Mejo. Anyone who owns a Fulci blu-ray won’t be surprised to see Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, have his own interview on here, discussing plenty about HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. There’s also promotional material and a commentary track by Troy Howarth, an expert in European cinema.
Blue Underground gifted this release with a thick 3D lenticular slipcover which only feels appropriate for a movie like this. No doubt, this follows the traditional Italian horror style and even if that’s not your thing, the dubbing on the children will make it a fun watch. I genuinely like this movie, but you have to smile at the overly dramatic vocal tracks. The music stands out, probably why the soundtrack is included and belongs on horror playlists if there are such things (I hope I’m not the only one who makes them). I hope not to get burned for this, but HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY almost feels like a toned-down, yet campier version of The Beyond. No, it’s not an insult, but it’s what makes this one more of a fun watch.