Theme Song: A bunch of violins and piano by some shitty British guy.
Interesting Dated References: The film takes place in 1795, everything is dated poorly. Women being virgins on their wedding night.
Best Line: “Rise, take up thy bottle and walk.”
Social Context: There’s some type of subtext going on here about the young British having to pay for the sins of the old British.
Summary: A young, newlywed, snotty, English couple moves into a house, which happens to be the house in which the husband was raised, and has been in his family “for 300 years.” As if you could even track that far back without the internet. The woman immediately becomes scared of all types of things, including reflections in the window and old paintings of family members in the hallway. Whenever she gets scared, violins synonymous with the sound of getting scared shoot out at you. She seems to be scared every time her husband tries to get some action, but they really don’t address that, and they insinuate she’s a virgin.
So the broad goes for a walk, gets barked at by dogs, and makes a bunch of dudes stare at her. Then she loosely becomes obsessed with finding out information about some guy named Silas The Woodsman. Slowly but surely, everyone who comes in contact with the new bride begins to get killed by a disembodied hand, the wind, or a giant pube that’s been on the screen for the majority of the movie. The bride keeps finding the dead bodies and lets out the most annoying cackle/shriek I’ve ever heard.
This isn’t a Hammer Film, it’s actually an Amicus Production which makes it like a rip off of a Hammer film. In fact, considering it stars veteran Hammer regular Peter Cushing and was directed by the guy who did Asylum and The Vampire Lovers, you’d think there would be something good here. But there isn’t, I swear. Eventually the young bride starts to go insane and starts slashing up the portraits on which she keeps seeing superimposed ghosts. This causes the husband and a doctor to decide she’s gone crazy. Peter Cushing shows up because he’s some type of “head doctor.” He then proceeds to investigate and raise his eyebrows and wear a really shitty wig:
Okay, so Cushing discovers there is some curse on the house and for some reason it affects virgins. Now the easy solution to this would be for the husband to make love to his fucking wife, but this doesn’t seem to occur to anyone. During a flashback sequence, the husband explains that the reason there is a curse on the place is because back in the day, a bunch of old timers attempted to rape a virgin on the property. There are some hilarious day-for-night shots that include sunlight glimmering in people’s hair. So yeah, the gist of the curse is that any virgins up in the house will be tormented. Again, no one thinks to just have sex with the chick, even though they are newlyweds. There is kind of a ghost-rape scene, but it makes no sense. More shrieking, more Cushing, more gigantic pubes on the film stock, and then we’re done.
Poster and Box Art: This movie actually has a pretty nicely painted poster that makes the film look way more interesting than it is.
Availability: Because people have shitty taste, and because people like foreign horror movies, this is available on DVD.