A Movie A Day #281: The House Where Evil Dwells (1982, directed by Kevin Connor)

When writer Ted Fletcher (Edward Albert) moves his family into a house in Kyoto, Japan, he does not know that the house comes with a violent history.  140 years ago, the house was occupied by a samurai and his wife.  When the samurai discovered that his wife had taken a lover, he killed both them and himself.  The three spirits remain in the house, haunting Ted and his wife, Laura (Susan George).  When a possessed Laura starts an affair with Ted’s best friend (Doug McClure), will history repeat itself?

When I was growing up, The House Where Evil Dwells used to frequently show up on television.  When you are a kid, anything that combines ghosts, sex, and samurai swords is automatically the coolest thing that you have ever seen so I used to really like The House Where Evil Dwells.  A few weeks ago, I rewatched it for the first time in years and I was shocked by how boring the movie actually is.  There are a few well-composed scenes with the ghosts silently watching the Fletcher family and Susan George does the best she can do with what she is given but has there ever been any two actors as wooden as Edward Albert and Doug McClure?  Any film about passion and anger is doomed to fail when it stars two actors who cannot show emotion.  This is one haunted house movie that will make you want to hang out with the ghosts because the living are just too boring.


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