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House of Clocks

by on Feb.22, 2010, under Daily Review

Made for Italian TV, this is not one of Fulci’s finer moments but don’t write it off, as the plot is interesting in a surreal kind of way. The running time could have benefited from being trimmed down to the 70 minute mark, if only to allow the viewer a snappier experience. But when I say made for TV, this is not the usual average TV viewing and it’s still a Fulci film and therefore, blood and gore go with the territory

The story involves three crooks who break into an old manor house in the countryside. The residents, an elderly couple have an obsession with clocks which fill the house; every room. When the blundered robbery goes wrong, the elderly couple end up murdered, but with the help of their mystic magical clocks, they can control time and it’s not long before the crooks find themselves victims of revenge, or maybe their own insanity.

Much of the film is beautifully shot, especially after the halfway mark and the clocks begin to reverse and this is really where the film picks up and the grabs the viewer with some real intensity. There is a great atmosphere which Fulci manipulates for haunting effect. The earlier sequences are straight to the point, steady and solid with little character, and I’d suspect this to be the work of assistant Director Michele De Angelis.

The acting is not too bad to be honest, with the older couple knocking out a truly creepy performance, and the crooks playing dumb victims, but they are puppets in the bizarre Fulci world which they are dropped into. Fulci veteran, Al Cliver steals the show for me as Peter, the gardener.

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