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An old funeral parlor now converted into a tourist home during certain periods such as the summer, develops a problem, when a escaped mental patient with a split personality moves in and proceeds to do away with those specific/certain guests or staff, he/she feels are nosy or immoral.Written by
What do you do when your husband, the funeral director, runs out and is never seen again many years past, and leaves you with a big, old funeral home? Why turn it into a bed and breakfast of course! Funeral Home is one of those cheaply yet competently made horror film of the late seventies/early eighties that manages to evoke some real, honest chills while maintaining a somewhat serious facade. No small feat when you consider most of the horror derivative drivel produced during this era. Kay Hawtrey plays Mrs. Maude Chalmers who now runs a bed and breakfast and just received her granddaughter to help her make a go of it. Hawtrey gives one heck of a performance as a woman riddled with contradictions. Rumours abound that she was abandoned by her husband for another woman, but she doesn't believe any of that. She seems very normal except no one, absolutely no one, is allowed in the basement - where she can be heard often talking to someone. She plays the ever so sweet grandmother and charitable woman making flowers for the under-privileged. She plays the morally outraged innkeeper who disapproves of any behaviors she deems imprudent. She also has a more far-reaching range as the movie progresses to its revealing climax. But it is Hawtrey's performance that really makes this film work at any level - without it you would have nothing more than some slasher film without any merit. The rest of the acting is pretty good too with Barry Morse no less adding some more credibility as a house guest out to find some secret. As far as the story goes, it is nothing really inventive or hard to figure out to be sure, but the acting, lack of glossy production values, rural, almost Rockwellesque summer settings, and some competent directing all manage to create a fine little horror gem from Canada.
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