Enter if ye dare. 1969's "The House That Screamed" (a.k.a."La Residencia") is the precursor to 1974's "Black Christmas" and 1978's "Halloween" but alas, so few even know of it. Writer/director Narciso Serrador paved the road that these 70's killer-on-the-loose films drove on, but received litle fanfare for his efforts (which is a shame) "The House That Screamed" goes bumpety bump in zee night with atmosphere deluxe to burn.
Let's begin, shall we? 19th century European gurls gone mild, buttoned to the teeth a la Audra Barkley, whilst minding their manners and ballet lessons. The boarding school fronts as an elite academy, but in reality, it's just an exalted dumping ground for girls who are troubled or troublesome.
Lilli (Pictures of...) Palmer is head mistress Mme. Fourneau, a woman with a secret sealed with a kiss; She has a teenage son, Luis, with mummy issues - nay subscriptions - who is literally a kid locked in a candy store. Luis isn't a Peeping Tom per se...he much prefers "Unauthorized Biographer." In his heart of hearts, Luis' theme song is "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad." The problem is he's working on a puzzle with too many missing pieces.
Mary Maude plays the character Irene: a regal, aloof lezzie gang leader brandishing a big whip with a bigger smile. Irene is right rambunctious, not to mention bent, and rocks the school uniform until the break of dawn. However, Irene hosts the worst tea and sympathy parties, so it's best to just play dead.
Oppressive sexuality, grand architecture, and a midnight rambler to boot...Who could ask for anything more in a horror film? This is one boarding school with a student body count.
When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Nah, meet me in "The House That Screamed."