Sunday, 12 January 2020

la residencia

First shown in theatres on this day in 1970 after twelve-months of production and with the titles The House that Screamed and The Boarding School for foreign markets, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s set the standard for Spanish Gothic horror and was quite a commercial success.  A nineteenth century French home for troubled, wayward girls experiences a series of sinister-seeming but rather innocuously explained (given the administration and the character of their charges) away disappearances, only with the denouement revealing that the head-mistress’ (portrayed by highly accomplished German/Hollywood actress Lilli Palmer, whom despite having passed in 1986 has a final credit in the 2018 Orson Welles’ experimental The Other Side of the Wind made finally after considerable delays) overbearing manner had spillover effects for her son she was raising as a single-mother, passing on to him unrealistic expectations of the ideal woman that he deserved.