‘Some things never rest in peace.’
Funeral Home aka Cries in the Night is a 1980 Canadian horror film produced and directed by William Fruet (Death Weekend; Spasms; Killer Party) from a screenplay written by Ida Nelson.
The movie stars Kay Hawtrey (Love at Stake; Haunted by Her Past; American Psycho 2), Lesleh Donaldson (Happy Birthday to Me; Deadly Eyes; Curtains), Barry Morse (Asylum; The Changeling), Dean Garbett, Stephen E. Miller and Alf Humphreys (Death Weekend; My Bloody Valentine).
A young woman, Maude Chalmers, arrives at her grandmother’s house, which used to be a funeral home, to help her turn the place into a bed-and-breakfast inn. But soon after they open, guests begin to either disappear and/or turn up dead…
“The movie brings forth a spooky tone and psychological mystery that most slashers simply do not, and yet it still maintains all the wonderful cheese you expect from an 80s slasher. Funeral Home is Canada’s Psycho!” Oh, the Horror!
“Unfortunately, just as the film builds up to an enjoyable and campily frenetic climax it blows it all with a complete dramatic damp squib of an ending- it’s one of those, you know the ones, where you exclaim to yourself, “Oh,…. is that it?”. Hysteria Lives
“Some hack n’ slash tendencies are present but the consistent level of pacing and atmosphere here is usually unseen in the wave that came after Carpenter’s Halloween. Definitely recommended, however; don’t come in expecting to see a body count or an emergence of an unheralded slasher icon.” Basement of Ghoulish Decadence
“[spoiler] … ultimately it’s the drunken abuses of the absent grandfather that are blamed for the murderous rampage well, kinda-rampage. Here, the poisonous male character is a mere spectre, and Fruet shows us that even in death, dudes are potent saboteurs. Too bad he couldn’t explore that idea in Ida Nelson’s script with a lot more punch.” Canuxploitation!
“Several standout scenes are spooky, but you can feel a spirit of fun behind the whole thing. It could have had more flashbacks and better dialogue, and the end should have been campier, but it’s worth watching if it comes your way.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“William Fruet’s direction is workaday, and Ida Nelson’s script is too derivative of Psycho to stand on its own. Good track by Jerry Fielding.” John Stanley, Creature Features
The film was released in Canada in 1980 by Frontier Amusements and in America in 1982 by MPM.
It was released on VHS by Vouge Video in Canada in 1982 and Paragon Video in 1983 and again in 1986 as a big box reissue. Subsequent DVD releases have all been transfers from poor quality VHS.
Cast and characters:
Kay Hawtrey … Maude Chalmers (as Kay Hawtry)
Lesleh Donaldson … Heather
Barry Morse … Mr. Davis
Dean Garbett … Rick Yates
Stephen E. Miller … Billy Hibbs (as Stephen Miller)
Alf Humphreys … Joe Yates (as Alfred Humphreys)
Peggy Mahon … Florie
Harvey Atkin … Harry Browning
Robert Warner … Sheriff (as Bob Warner)
Jack Van Evera … James Chalmers
Les Rubie … Sam
Doris Petrie … Ruby
Bill Lake … Frank
Brett Matthew Davidson … Young Rick (as Brett Davidson)
Christopher Crabb … Teddy (as Chris Crabb)
Robert Craig … Barry Oaks
Linda Dalby … Linda
Gerard Jordan … Pete
Eleanor Beecroft … Shirley
James Crammond … Reporter
Ronald Reece … Developer
Paul Hubbard … Fighter 1
Terry Harford … Fighter 2
Peter Sturgess … Ed
The Foster Family … The Burns Family
Barbara Wheeldon … Helena Davis
Barry Allen … Restaurant Proprietor
Allison Fruet … Georgia
Elora Quarry Conservation Area, Elora, Ontario, Canada (quarry-swimming-site)
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Lakeshore Studio, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Markham, Ontario, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
23 July 1979 to 12 September 1979
Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1
Full film free to watch online: