16 April 2014

The House that Bled to Death (1980)
50 min.
Airdate: October 11, 1980
Directed by Tom Clegg.
With Nicholas Ball, Rachael Davies, Emma Ridley, Pat Maynard, Brian Croucher, and Milton Johns.
Jose Cruz
The Peters family has landed on hard times, so the fixer-upper at 42 Colman Road is the only one available in their price range. It has its share of repairs to make, as well as a history of bloody murder to its name. We hate when that happens.

After discovering that an elderly man had poisoned and then carved up his wife in their own home, William and Emma (Ball, Davies) find out that their spirits are not resting easy. The family cat meets a gory end, blood leaks through the walls, and doors slam of their own accord.

Just how long can the Peters stay in the accursed house before it claims their lives and sanity as well?

The fifth episode of Hammer House of Horror is your standard spookfest replete with all the standards of the haunted house genre. It manages to stay afloat, despite its conventionality, but it does boast a fantastic set piece of a blood-soaked birthday party, complete with screaming children!

But the episode really takes a great turn in its final moments with a twist that seems to be a satirical jab at the backstory of The Amityville Horror—and with a downbeat ending to boot.

It just barely stretches credulity, but the story as a whole is craftily written by scripter David Lloyd. The teleplay deserves a star unto itself.

A surprising treat.

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