The Wailing (1981)

aka Fear, Murder obsession(Follia omicida)
Article 3552 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-13-2011
Posting Date: 5-6-2011
Directed by Riccardo Freda
Featuring Stefano Patrizi, Martine Brochard, Henri Garcin
Country: Italy / France
What it is: A bit of a hodgepodge

An actor returns home to his mother for a visit. He is believed to have killed his father when he was in a trance, but he doesn’t remember it. He brings his girlfriend with him, and other friends of is show up. And then the murders start up…

There’s a lot of what you’d expect from an Italian horror movie of the period; there’s several nude scenes, hints of an incestuous relationship, some gory murders, and a mansion full of creepy rooms. The first half is rather dull, as it largely sets up one of those “psycho killers on the loose” plots, but the second half overloads this plot with other touches, throwing psychic powers, black magic, a RASHOMON-like “what really happened when the father died” subplot, and a bit of giallo into the mix. As such, the movie has a certain curiosity value, but it’s not particularly well done, and the extraneous and unnecessary plot elements make it come across as rather silly. It’s not awful, but it’s nothing to write home about either.

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