The first entry in a four film Italian cable series called ‘Houses of Doom’ was Lucio Fulci’s The Sweet House of Horrors (the second was Fulci’s The House of Clocks and the third and fourth were Umberto Lenzi films). This is the story of a couple who is brutally murdered by an intruder, leaving their children and the family house behind. The children’s aunt and uncle move in to the house to watch over the kids while they attempt to sell the property, but soon are plagued with supernatural events. In spirit form (often represented by flames), the parents return to take care of their children and protect the house. When they’ve had enough, Aunt Marcia and Uncle Carlo bring in an exorcist to the rid the house of the spirits.
I did not have high hopes going into this film because so many reviews I’ve read say that it is one of Fulci’s worst movies for one central reason: an absolute lack of gore. Now I don’t know what version these reviewers were watching, but I suspect it was not the unedited. The gore is far from lacking, in fact the gore is easily the best component of the film. That being said, I will say that I do agree with other complaints that the story is uninspired, the children are annoying, and the ghost effects are silly.
It is a very typical story of spirits residing in a household and creating a bit of mischief. The cartoonish ghost effects are more fitting to a children’s movie. Personally I wish the film was just a series of murders by the masked intruder similar to the first ten minutes, but instead it seems to turn from a violent adult gore movie to ‘Jasper the Slightly-Unfriendly Ghost’ in an instant. Overall, for a Fulci die-hard this is still an entertaining watch, if just for the gore, but it’s certainly not one of his best.