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The Confessional (1976)

House of Mortal Sin (original title)
R | | Horror | March 1977 (USA)
A troubled young girl goes to confession at the local church. Unfortunately, the sexually frustrated priest she confesses to becomes obsessed with her. At first, the priest stalks the girl,... See full summary »


Pete Walker


David McGillivray (screenplay), Pete Walker (from an original story by)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Sharp ... Father Xavier Meldrum
Susan Penhaligon ... Jenny Welch
Stephanie Beacham ... Vanessa Welch
Norman Eshley ... Father Bernard Cutler
Sheila Keith ... Miss Brabazon
Hilda Barry Hilda Barry ... Mrs. Meldrum
Stewart Bevan Stewart Bevan ... Terry Wyatt (as Stuart Bevan)
Julia McCarthy Julia McCarthy ... Mrs. Davey
John Yule John Yule ... Robert (as Jon Yule)
Bill Kerr ... Mr. Davey
Victor Winding Victor Winding ... Dr. Gaudio
Jack Allen ... GP
Kim Butcher ... Valerie Davey
Ivor Salter ... Gravedigger
Andrew Sachs ... Man in Church


A troubled young girl goes to confession at the local church. Unfortunately, the sexually frustrated priest she confesses to becomes obsessed with her. At first, the priest stalks the girl, but later it is revealed that he will stop at nothing, including blackmail and murder, just to get close to her. Written by John Hilton

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Tortured by desires his vows forbid...master of a house of mortal sin!




R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


At 18 mins 50 seconds, the LP cover studied by Bob is "461 Ocean Boulevard" by Eric Clapton. See more »


The cameraman is seen in the mirror when the daughter enters her bedroom and moves about at the beginning of the film. See more »


Miss Brabazon: [to Meldrum's infirm mother] He's gone out again, I'm afraid... you're all alone again... with me.
See more »


Featured in Courting Controversy (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Killing in the name of ... Catholism!
12 February 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

The events in "House of Mortal Sin" make it more than clear: repressing your sexuality can have serious consequences!! This third collaboration between controversial director Pete Walker and scriptwriter David McGillivray is lesser known than "Frightmare" or "House of Whipcord", and maybe also not as good, but it still is very inventive exploitation with some twisted themes and exhilaratingly horrific sequences. Walker and McGillivray openly assault the Catholic Church here and associate the "holy institution" with hypocrisy, sexual perversion and even murder. Walker's intention clearly was to shock audiences and to stimulate an angry reaction from the Church. Perhaps he couldn't achieve all this, but "House of Mortal Sin" nevertheless remains an enjoyable and schlocky horror movie, surely worth purchasing in case you're into unhinged 70's cinema. The story follows a troubled young girl who hesitatingly goes to confession at her local church. The priest, Father Meldrum, is quite out of his mind and starts stalking the girl and even killing the so-called sinful men in her life. No matter who the girl turns to for help, Father Meldrum stays above suspicion at all times because he's a respected man of the Church and she's just a mentally unstable blonde. The main storyline gets a little tedious at times but there's a delightfully insane sub plot involving the priest's seemly 273-year-old senile mother and the disturbing housekeeper played by Sheila Keith! Eccentric characters and the downright oddball relationships between them are still Walker's greatest specialty and also the unhappy ending is present. The gore and violence is less outrageous than in "Frightmare" but the priests' killing methods are quite ingenious and, of course, religiously themed, like poisoned sacred wafers and rosary strangulations. Recommended!

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Release Date:

March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Confessional See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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