A chilling tale of suspense and survival. When a doctor rents a haunted house to use as a clinic, he and his associates are victimized by supernatural powers within.
From the same director
Richard Crenna (C.J. Arnold), Joanna Pettet (Dr. Caroline Arnold), Andrew Prine (Prof. Raymond Guy), Cassie Yates (Mary Harper), George O'Hanlon Jr. (Pete Brooks), Lynne Moody (Felicia Allen), Mary Louise Weller (Laurie Belman), Robert Viharo (Dwight (as George Viharo)), Victor Buono (The Devil), Milton Selzer (The Realtor), Ed Bakey (Sam the Caretaker), Galen Thompson (Emilio Vargas), Emory Souza (The Demon)
A daft, but entertainingly modest low-budget late 70s haunted house variation with horror comic lashings (intentional or not) in what becomes a traditional battle between good vs. evil. Nothing surprises, as no cliché is left untouched, but director Gus Trikonis' able execution is quite well done for what it is. Some creepy or outrageous moments and there's a solid cast led by the ever-reliable Richard Crenna, as he plays a psychologist along with his wife (a doctor) buy an abandon mansion (which does have something of a gloomy past) to hopefully restore to use as a clinic. So some friends and students of his go there to help fix it up, but unknowingly to them a devastating satanic force is unleashed and they find themselves trapped inside trying to survive.
The raw atmospheric make-up emit's a dominating presence, from the grand vast secluded mansion to the eerily placed music score, imaginative camera placement and cue in the cackling evil laughter of the evil entity. It constructs an ominously nightmarish strangle-hold, as it grows claustrophobic but at the same time the whirlwind becomes a random schlock-fest with its climax being the tip of it. It's not as unnerving as it could have been and the ending it feebly done. The story dynamics are old-hat (a stormy night) and it's slow to get going with some plodding opening dialogues, but soon that's made way for impulsively staged deaths / encounters --- consisting of spirit manifestations, possessions, fires, self-mutilation and bodies being thrown about. When these strange occurrences transpire, it's even mentioned for no one to go anywhere on their own, but do they listen of course not. The dedicated cast also features lively performances by Andrew Prine, Joanna Pettet, Cassie Yates and a memorable sequence with Victor Buono.
[C.J. comes face-to-face with the Devil sitting on a throne in a white-colored limbo plane of existence]
Devil: [chuckles] Forgive me, but you are an endless source of amusement to me.
C.J. Arnold: What is it that you want?
Devil: There... you see what I mean? After all I put you through and you still don't know.
C.J. Arnold: You did all that?
Devil: No, Mr. Arnold. YOU did. You denied the warnings, you opened the door, and still you cannot accept or understand what you've done. You pondered the deeper meaning of a universal power for good. Self made.
C.J. Arnold: What is it that you want from me?
Devil: My accounts. I fill my accounts. You have a will, Mr. Arnold. Strong, sometimes misdirected, but a will. So you have some value even among your kind. By the way, where is that piece of holy excrement that you used to open the door? The cross?
C.J. Arnold: It's a thing of God. How could it come here? What could you want with it?
Devil: [stern tone] Don't question me. I have little enough patience. That "thing" shall be destroyed and you are going to see it done. Where is it?
Cry Demon • La razón del mal (Argentina) • L'héritage des Vargas (Canada (French title)) • The Evil (Canada (English title); Thailand (English title)) • El enigma de la mansión siniestra (Colombia) • El poder de Satanás (Spain (video title)) • Profecía diabólica (Spain) • Pahuus (Finland) • Le couloir de la mort (France) • Evil (UK (alternative spelling))
supernatural power, old mansion, haunted house, sweeping the floor, death, electrocution, cobweb, window closes by itself, falling into a pit, white suit, white room, stabbed with a crucifix, characters killed one by one, apparition, spontaneous human combustion, thunderstorm, spiral staircase, woman in lingerie, sweaty face, thrown through the air, locked in jail, heroin addict, needle tracks, faked suicide, pokies, lantern, dirt floor, station wagon, laser, ceiling collapse...
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