Not really sure what exactly it was that writer/director Ivan Zuccon tried to accomplish with "The Shunned House", to be honest. Admittedly the concept of intertwining three separate H.P. Lovecraft stories into one horror anthology, entirely taking place in one and the same house setting, is definitely ambitious and original, but at the same time also hazardous and unrewarding. The wicked and ultra-sinister imagination of H.P. Lovecraft is incredibly difficult to translate into a movie – only gifted directors like Stuart Gordon and Lucio Fulci occasionally succeeded – and his devoted fans are very finicky when it comes to adaptations. The script tackles the wondrously atmospheric and nightmarish tales "Dreams in the Witch House", "The Shunned House" and "The Music of Erich Zahn"; all mingled together through the wraparound story of a young couple investigating the dark history of a house where tragic events occurred spread over three centuries. Beforehand, I was prepared to witness some really bad acting and perhaps some inferior production values, but the absolute last thing I expected from this film was boredom! The story material is great and the ambiance is thoroughly ominous, but Zuccon's narrative structure simply isn't compelling enough. The stories, and thus also the suspense, are too often abruptly cut off to return to the present day main characters and their continuous uninteresting bickering. Ivan Zuccon doesn't achieve to grab the viewer's full attention and hold it, and that is something quite important in Lovecraft adaptations, as his morbid stories are habitually confusing and tangled already. What "The Shunned House" does have to offer are numerous grisly images (like a girl repeatedly banging her head against a wall for reasons unknown) and multiple downright gruesome make-up effects (like a woman biting through her own wrist). Although not the goriest film of its kind, some of the footage here is definitely nightmare inducing. The acting performances are quite bad and, call me shallow if you must, but I was quite disappointed that lead actress Federica Quaglieri didn't have any nude sequences. All through the film, she's parading around in an incredibly sexy yellow top and her beautiful voluptuous boobs are constantly on the point of popping out
yet they never do.