Plot: Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) has just moved to a small, rural town, into a house that she inherited from her aunt. The place is beautiful, with a large home nestled on a sizable piece of property, quite a place to get a fresh start. But Jane quickly realizes this small town is giving her a cold welcome, as no one seems friendly and some even advise her to leave. While no one will give her exact details on this icy reception, she learns that a lot of the tension is connected to the house itself. It seems some of the locals believe it is haunted and whoever resides there is cursed, to the point that parents tell their children not to talk with Jane. She doesn’t believe in all the talk of ghosts or haunted houses, but she has noticed an eerie, black hearse around at night and no one else seems to be aware of it. Does her new country home hold some dark, supernatural secrets, or is the town just paranoid and superstitious?
Entertainment Value: The Hearse has a great old school horror vibe, almost dreamlike at times, relying on atmosphere and visuals to provide the chills. The story is solid, but very derivative and unspools the narrative at a slow pace, letting the tension and feeling that something is off build over time. The slow pace is going to turn some off, but it never feels overly dull or like its trying to fill time, instead it is just a mostly effective slow burn that lets the tension simmer. At the same time, the deliberate pace and dated, often hokey feel are worth bringing up, as not all horror fans appreciate that approach. I think The Hearse is still fun to watch however and to me, the hokey feel is part of that fun, as it captures a certain horror vibe. As much as I love over the top violence and bare breasts, sometimes you just want to see a spooky movie and while not scary, The Hearse does have that old school, spooky feel. The unwelcoming locals are always fun, while the creepy chauffeur and actual hearse itself are a lot of fun too. So while it won’t sate any kind of blood lust, The Hearse has good atmosphere and some wacky moments, so for fans of 70s style horror, dust off this old chestnut.
This is a classy picture, so naked flesh is seen here. There is a tasteful love scene between two middle aged lovers, but no untoward bits are revealed. Trish Van Devere gives off a strong MILF vibe, but given the tone of the movie, it makes sense that she didn’t unleash her goodies here. On the blood side, no violence is seen on screen and the only red stuff is a little on the mouth of one dead person. There are some tense scenes, such as some windows breaking suddenly and the eerie hearse scenes, but this movie goes with tension and atmosphere over blood and violence. The dialogue is overly dramatic most of the time, which is fun, but there aren’t a ton of stand out lines. Some good ones sneak in however, usually from the locals directed at Jane. So not a lot of points scored, but the dramatic tone is still fun at times. This movie has some odd little moments that are fun, but overall this one doesn’t rock the boat much. The angry locals, the shoehorned romance, the weird chauffeur, of course the hearse itself, and just an overall odd vibe earn some points on the craziness scale, however.
Overall Insanity: 2/10