Horror Movie Review: Funeral Home (1980)

A low budget 80’s slasher that rips off elements of 1960’s Psycho. Funeral Home (also known as Cries in the Night) was directed by William Fruet. It stars Lesleh Donaldson, Kay Hawtrey, Jack Van Evera, Alf Humphreys, and Harvey Atkin.

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It’s summer and young adult, Heather (Donaldson) has travelled to a small town to spend it with her grandmother, Maude (Kay Hawtrey). Heather will be staying with Maude at her house, a former funeral home that has now been converted into an inn.

Maude is trying to make ends meet since the mysterious disappearance of her husband, the town undertaker a few years before. She is really unhappy about having to welcome guests in, even more so when they don’t match up to her Christian values. Heather tries to help her see the benefits but begins to become concerned with voices coming from the basement. All while the police are trying to piece together clues to local disappearances. Are the two things linked?

Of course, they are, this is a slasher horror after all. One with a twist that most people will see coming a mile away. That does dent its inevitable impact, especially as it unashamedly rips off Psycho.

Aside from that, Funeral Home is a decent enough movie. One that goes for chilling atmosphere rather than shocks, frights, violence and gore. This does mean it relies heavily on the strength of its cast and they all do a serviceable job. The problem is, aside from the main players, few are defined and the ones that are, fail to captivate. They’re thoroughly uninteresting and even less exciting which matches up to the overall story. One that is very slow a lot of the time. Keeping your mind focused on what is happening on the screen is much harder when so little does.

There are so many better slashers and Funeral Home doesn’t do enough to stand out from the pack. Worth a watch if you’re trying to tick off seeing every 80’s horror ever but causal watchers will find themselves bored and unenthused by the end result.

Funeral Home
  • The Final Score - 5.5/10
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