A sextet of teenagers - Paul (Greg Scott), Martha (Lara Wendel), Mark
(Ron Houck), Susan (Mary Sellers), Tina (Kate Silver) and Jim (Martin Jay)
- decide to investigate some spooky old house they have received scary
radio messages from, seemingly from their own future. And before you know
it, the radio messages come to life and Jim ends up dead, his throat cut
by the blade of a fan - ouch.
By now all of them know the house is haunted and to top things off,
there is also a homicidal maniac, Valkos (Donald O'Brien) prowling the
neighbourhood ... but do our kids leave right away ?
No - true, Paul and Martha leave in the morning, but Paul is so
hell-bent on investigating the whole thing that he is back by nightfall.
And the van of the others simply won't start. And as it goes in these
movies, instead of staying together to have a fighting chance against
whatever evil their is, the kids wander off on their own constantly or
leave each other alone, so before the movie ends, Tina and Mark are killed
as well - with Mark's deathscene being especially ridiculous, as he almost
drowns in a lake of milk that seems to be positioned right below the
house, before Susan, mistaking him for a milkmonster (?) kills him. Martha
meanwhile is hunted through a graveyard by our madman (who eventually ends
up hanging from a tree, no explanation given) and hides, of all places, in
a crypt, where its inhabitant comes to life before her very eyes. And
during all this time, Paul tries to figure out what's going on and finds a
clue leading to a little girl (Kristen
Fougerousse) who died 20 years ago, and her doll, only her doll
wasn't hers, but her father (Alain Smith), the funeral home owner,
snatched it from a dead girl, so it seems all the evil is emmanating from
the dead girl and the doll ... and thank God the little girl's grave is
the very crypt Martha was caught (in but saved from by Paul), and now Paul
figures all he has to do is to burn the body of the girl and her doll. And
really, in a amazingly underwhelming finale, all the evil spirits who have
just prepared to kill Susan suddenly disappear.
Only - is the horror really over ?
Ghosthouse is proof for the sad state Italian genre cinema was
in the late 1980's. The script is amazingly weak and seems to be little
more than a succession of indifferently directed genre mainstays, garnered
with a few gore effects one has seen better elsewhere, all the lead
actors are uncharismatic, talent-free and perfect cannonfodder for this
kind of film, and in the end, one is just diappointed that not more of
them have died, the outfits of the characters look by today's standards
plain terrible, and any attempt at creating a proper, spooky atmosphere is
destroyed by one of these annoying 1980's pop-synthie-scores.
To me it seems unexplicable why this film is re-released on video/DVD
every few years - it is really that awful !