SoH Reviews: The House of Seven Corpses

The first five minutes had me.
The opening credits looking like spoilers and I thought, oh, they are going this route?
And then, the scene breaks a wall and it’s… a movie?


sevencorpses7I’m talking about 1973’s (released in 74) The House of Seven Corpses. Not to be confused with House of 1000 Corpses (Zombie) or House of Seven Gables, a novel.

It looked and sounded interesting on the vhs cassette box and I found it at a Goodwill a couple of years ago, not bothering to watch it until yesterday. I watched. I was not moved and I found it quite dull.

The plot is that a director and his crew and many actors are filming within a mansion that is supposedly haunted. The Beal family was mysteriously murdered in the home an see, that’s where they got me and I thought it could be something like… House, The Haunting or House on Haunted Hill meets Night of the Living Dead-ish. Obviously that didn’t happen and we are left with a film that had so much potential. It had a lot of things that could make the film become “something” and instead, it’s forgettable.

sevencorpses_6The main issue I have is that the movie doesn’t pay off in some way. There are these occasional build ups to something bigger like constantly reading this Tibetan Book of the Dead, perhaps if the house was truly haunted, have weird things happen during the filming process or just slow building up to a climax where the entire crew is fighting to survive, figuring out how to end or stop it and… I’m so upset by this movie.

sevencorpses_3Also, The Ghoul that shows up, I cannot get behind that either. Why are you showing up at the last 15-20 minutes of the movie? It’s about 90 something minutes but we barely see his face, there is recycled shots, it’s dragged out, the kills are basically nonexistent with strangulation as his tactic and it’s boring. It’s just one Ghoul and a zombified version of a character and that’s it?

sevencorpses_5This movie is not great. I wish it was. I really wish it could have been something big but alas, no. You don’t need gore and blood in a horror movie but God, ANYTHING would have helped. The most daring thing they did was introducing a beautiful cat and then the cat is found dead and even that looked fake. And just watching Carradine as Mr. Price is a highlight and that’s about it.

The House of Seven Corpses is directed by Paul Harrison and stars John Ireland, Faith Domergue and John Carradine with Carole Wells. I give the film 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The half comes from Carradine in the film. I liked him.

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