(Lamberto Bava, 1987)
It's a pity Lamberto is known mainly for his Demons movies, as his other horror efforts are quite entertaining and underrated. His Gialli are some of the most brutal (yet stylish), his psychological horrors effective, and his slasher movies...well, you know. Until Death, originally made for Italian TV, falls into the realm of psychological horror with a dash of the supernatural.
Linda and her abusive partner Carlo murdered Linda's husband eight years ago and have been running a bed and breakfast ever since. One stormy night, a handsome young drifter named Marco stops by and asks for a room. Linda is smitten and invites him in, to Carlo's dismay. Instead of leaving the next morning, Marco stays on and helps Linda around the house to pay his keep. Though attracted to him, Linda is also repulsed and frightened as he seems to know a lot of details about her former husband. Her son, plagued routinely by nightmares of his father's rotting corpse, also takes a liking to Marco. The question is, of course, who or what is Marco, and why does he know so much about her husband? Watch and find out!
This is one of Bava's finest films, derivative as it may be. There's decent acting, effects, soundtrack by Simon Boswell, and snazzy camerawork. The tension/ violence between Carlo and Linda, as well as the sexual tension between Linda and Marco, keep things interesting and add some dimension to what would otherwise be a standard tale of ghostly revenge. The scare scenes, though incredibly tame and relatively blood-free, are still fairly effective. It's Bava's use of lighting and music to create a dreadful atmosphere that provides the real chills, and anyone who puts him down in comparison to his father Mario might do well to see this, Macabre, and A Blade in the Dark to see how deftly Lamberto manipulates these elements.
Definitely a Must-See, even for late 80s Italian horror, and available on DVD thanks to MYA Communications. Go get it!
5 months ago