The Hearse

The Hearse is a film that isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. Is it a haunted house film? Is it a demonic chase film? A city girl out of her element? A woman with an overactive imagination? Well, it tries to be all of those things. And, predictably, when a film tries to do too much it falls short across the board. While this film isn’t terrible, when compared against the quality of haunting films during the era (The Shinning, The Changeling) it is rather woeful. The biggest problem is the lack of anything inventive. In other words, this is a cliché-ridden film that includes a “Was that REALLY the ending?”

Jane Hardy (Trisha Van Devere) moves from San Francisco to escape the city and begin anew in an old abandoned house in the country that her Aunt used to own. The townsfolk treat her like yesterday’s garbage, mostly because the house she lives in is supposedly haunted (of course, no one tells her this until deep into the film). Soon after moving in she begins to see ghosts in the house and begins to have run-ins with a mysterious black hearse on the road. No one wants to help her except for a guy named Tom. He is also mysterious. Cue the creepy music.

As crazy ensues the audience is left with one question: Why is this lady so dead-set on staying in the house. Of course, that is the same question one must ask in just about every haunted house movie ever. Having seen a lot of movies I was able to pinpoint the real reason. She was getting some from Tommy boy AND the sex must have been good. I can’t say for sure because no boobs are shown in the film, but lots of sheets are moved in what appeared to moments of ecstasy. This is a classy film after all. No gratuitous nudity.

And while classy is good, there are also no real scares after the first 45 minutes or so. At no point did I feel uneasy or even remotely concerned. This was in big part because the film jumps all over and remains disjointed. And that is all before the ending that will leave viewers miffed and most likely wishing (like me) that they could have 90 minutes back.

Rating: 4/10

Snore Factor: ZZZZ

IMDB 1980


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