Funeral Home (1980)


Produced & Directed by: William Fruet

Written by: Ida Nelson


.... Maude Chalmers
.... Heather
.... Mr. Davis
.... Rick Yates
.... Billy Hibbs
Alf Humpreys .... Joe Yates
.... Florie
Harvey Atkin .... Harry Browning

Release Date: Theatrical: October 3, 1980 (Canada)




A teenage girl Heather (Lesleh Donaldson) arrives at her grandmother's house to help her change what used to be a funeral home into a bed and breakfast inn.
However at nights she hears voices coming from the cellar as well as guests disappearing or turning up dead.


Good dark shots during the very beginning on the home with the surroundings that was once a funeral parlor which was a nice beginning for a horror film.
Nice peaceful moments when Heather comes to the country to visit her Grandma as well as a shot on a black cat stalking her as she gets spooked by this feline but this however looked too tame and not spooky as it was supposed to have been. However things looked good and heartwarming when she's greeted by her grandparent Maude Chalmers in which their interactions seemed to flow in naturally.
Perfect horror touch to the story is that they have a mentally challenged innkeeper known as Billy Hibbs who stares at anyone residing there which leaves a nice creepy touch since we've often seen these types in movies like Prom Night and so fourth along with a skanky couple Harry Browning and his mistress Florie arriving at the bed and breakfast suite just acting wild which looked well done.
Perfect situations with Harry and Florie out on the front porch of the home griping about certain situations and then we spot a thunderstorm happening which looked slightly cheesy but in a good and fun way which is another nice pointer in a horror flick as well as that black cat meowing which looked spooky this time.
Perfect mysterious and creepy moment late at night when there's a scene in a cellar with a closed door hearing some quarrelling sounding spooky on what was discussed which can seem chilling and later on Maude coming out of the room and closing the door looking overwhelmed which added great horror timing.
Nice dark shots on Heather looking around the home and going to a shack trying to find a way of unlocking a door wondering on what is happening in the home with a good creepy approach by Billy questioning her as this looked solidly done along with her excuse as to why she was trying to open the door to the shack.
Of course in the story Heather meets up with the boy next door Rick Yates and they hit it off which looked nicely done by the situation between the two of them as teenage kids. As well as a later scene with them near a lake hanging out.
I enjoyed a moment that stuck out in my mind is when Florie starts to act like a tease towards Billy making out that she is flirting towards him and he acts uncomfortable and she cackles nastily walking away as this is another nice horror pointer by having an impression that she will become a victim to a deadly incident later on in the story.
A nice in your face moment when both Harry and Florie are giggling and getting carried away at the house with Maude scolding and nagging at them by their behavior as well as discussing that they are sinful wanting them out which leaves off a nice clue that something will come to them greatly later on.
Along in the story was greatly written when Heather talks to Rick about what she's hearing in the house and that someone else is there as well as telling him the house seems somewhat evil and they go in a garage to look for clues which was inpressive as well as a nice brief spooky moment when there's a crack on the floor and someone is watching them. Yes a classic moment in a horror flick.
More terrific creepy moments with a well focused situation on Heather sneakily going down in the cellar to hear what is said in the room with the closed door and she accidentally smashes a jar and quickly runs up the stairs hoping not to be caught which gave me the chills wondering if it's too late for her not to be revealed.
The terror piles up when both Florie and Harry go driving to the cliff where the lake is at night for making out and then a mysterious creepy vehicle forces them off the cliff as this was terrifically well done making you want to watch for more to see what happens later on in the story.
Then I was looking forward to another murderous moment as there's the night scene with the killer holding a flashlight and whacking the victim with a shovel. It didn't look as brutal as you'd think but at the same time mysterious in which I wondered who this killer is. While watching the flashlight moment coming up towards this victim reminded me a scene that was used in Friday the 13th.
Another well done situation is when someone jumps off the cliff to go swimming and what they spot in the water which was well shot and revealed.
Of course we see the black cat acting slick once more as it runs away from Billy in which he calls for while this feline runs in the cellar of the home and he tries to get the cat looking around in the cellar which leaves a creepy impression that he will be the next to die as this was perfectly drawn in looking nice and dark.
Then the best is yet to come when the killer is revealed packed with action and suspense as well as pstychotic too with Heather being pitted against this maniac as the moments were highly adrenalised but I won't give it away. It should entertain all you horror fans who likes mysteries being revealed as well as enjoying psychotic situations.
Bottom line is that this is an obscure but yet an enjoyable low budget Canadian horror flick which seems to pay a tribute to the Psycho legacy and working on it's own as well. It made me want to watch for more and more for things to be revealed and a simple nice straight forward story. A shame movies aren't made so much like this anymore.

The acting is very well performed in which (Maude Chalmers) was magnificent as the head of the bed and breakfast home in which she offered a nice warm type of attitude in many spots to the people whom she liked. She also does a great job being nagging and chastising others making this totally believeable as well as making her presence mysterious as to what she is talking about. Plus does a fine job acting overwhelmed in other spots along with having a somewhat intimidating and wicked behavior. Plus was a powerful force of nature near the end of her performance She was for sure a talented character actress by all means.
(Heather) brings out her nice girl behavior pretty nicely as well as doing a good job being spooked by a cat. Has a nice calmness to her speaking as well as her surroundings too. She shows a nice intelligence by what she was talking about and knew on how to get into things as well as showing a decent energy whike doing so.
(Rick Yates) had one of the most effective roles bringing on the charm as the nice boy next door as he comes across this way marvellously. He had the really teenage heartthrob looks and appeal to whatever he does here. Plus knew on how to tell a tale on what happened at that house. Shows off a ton of spunk within everything that he did here and was clear with his lines. Also shows a good struggling energy near the end of his role.
(Billy Hibbs) was terrific as an eccentric and metally challenged innkeeper in which he performs differently this time than what I've normally seen him in with his creepy behavior as well as his stuttering which he was on the ball. He for sure studied this role fairly well and proved to be versatile by portraying this part.
Alf Humpreys (Joe Yates) shows off a great insecure behavior as a sheriff in the flick in which he does well with his aggressions as well as his nervous and uncomfortable attitude. Does well with his sensivity as well as acting cautious by what he is talking about. He delivered all of this in a nice fashion.
(Florie) had the most effective supporting role in which she does well by portraying someone skanky and flirtatious as well as lacking intelligence. She knew on how to cause trouble and making this truly believeable. Plus was great with her giggly and cackly behavior too. All of this was brought in greatly and was a ball of energy and enthusiasm. Plus does a great job acting bitchy and gripey too.
Harvey Atkin (Harry Browning) was a natural ham as a sex crazed type of partying animal in which he knew on how to come across as someone who doesn't care about rules and an unfaithful type. He jumps into the action greatly within whatever he does here. Shows off a ton of wit and sleazy charm within everything here. A true character actor whom comes across memorable.

Jerry Fielding does a marvellous job with his orchestral music in which he made the moments peaceful for when the main girl Heather arriving to her Grandma's place with nice violin music as well as some good clarinet playing. He knew on how to change this mode greatly when anything spooky happens with the violin music sounding perfectly dark as well as some hissing or windy types of effects and other gloomy parts like that. Plus during a certain scene a good deep echoey pounding of a piano which stuck out in my mind greatly fitting on what is happening during that situation.

Heather: Rick, what would you say if I said I thought I'd heard voices coming from the basement? ... there is something wrong in that house. Something evil!