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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The House That Screamed aka "La residencia" [Blu-ray]


(Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, 1970)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Anabel Films S.A.

Video: Shout! Factory



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: Theatrical 1:34:26.994  / Extended 1:43:45.677

Disc Size: 48,918,878,137 bytes

Theatrical Feature Size: 21,595,207,680 bytes

Extended Feature Size: 22,872,244,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps / 25.96 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 27th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1869 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1869 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



• Interview with actor John Moulder-Brown (6:12)
• Film Festival Q & A with actress Mary Maude (12:14)
• Theatrical Trailer (0:55)/TV Spot (0:57)
• Radio Spots (2:04)
• Still Gallery (45 images)




1) Shout! Factory (Theatrical) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory (Extended) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM




Description: This stylishly and very eerie thriller stars Lili Palmer as Senora Fourneau, the severe headmistress of a French boarding school for wayward young women. The rigid constraints of 19th-century social conditioning have turned the school into a hotbed of uncontrolled sexual urges. Soon it is discovered that one by one, the young girls are vanishing. It is assumed they are sneaking away at night, so the school is securely locked down at night. But the young women continue to go missing, as it appears a mysterious assassin is stalking the dark hallways of the ghostly manor. Quite intense for its time, this film represented a new boldness in gothic style among European thrillers which would reach its zenith during the 1970s.



The Film:

In the Spanish-made, largely English-dubbed "House That Screamed," Lilli Palmer, as the militantly strict widowed operator of a turn-of-the-century French school for teen-aged girls is faced with a variety of strange problems. Her pupils obviously care more for a visiting woodsman, other girls and her son, John Moulder Brown, a strange, Peeping Tom type, than they do for Molière, sewing or the niceties of cuisine. And, they can't be blamed for wanting to break out of this gloomy manse, since several of their classmates already have mysteriously disappeared.

"I want you to live a normal life," the anxious but suspicious Miss Palmer fervently assures her son. However, it gorily turns out, young Mr. Brown is far from the normal, placid, handsome teen-ager he seems to be. Miss Palmer and moviegoer deserve all the sympathy they can get.

Excerpt from the NYTimes located HERE

Outstanding on every level, this Spanish slasher is a must see.
A stern disciplinarian, Mme Fourneau (Palmer) heads a boarding school for troubled girls ages 15-21.

So it's really nothing out of the ordinary when 18 year-old Teresa (Galbó) arrives on campus and enrolls as a new pupil.

But Teresa soon discovers that something is wrong at the college - lately, several girls have disappeared attempting to 'escape.'

Consequently, the place is locked down like a prison ward.

Yet, inexplicably, girls continue to go missing...permanently.

Originally titled La Residencia, this exceptional horror hails from the same director as Who Can Kill a Child? (1975) - and the results here are no less amazing.

Excerpt from theTerrorTrap located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The House That Screamed comes to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory offering both the theatrical version and the 9-minute longer extended version with Standard Definition inserts. There is also this warning about the audio in the inserted sequences:



We have both added three SD bumped samples (see below) from the extended version and three comparisons between the theatrical and extended transfers as these are separate renderings - not seamlessly branched. While the theatrical has a marginally higher bitrate, there isn't much to choose between the same scenes in the extended version - a few pixels shifts but the theatrical carries the grain slightly more cohesively. The 9+-minutes of SD bumps are noticeable holding some artifacts. This is dual-layered and the visual presentation is not stellar with some color shifts, looking fairly flat, modest detail but pleasing texture.






1) Shout! Factory (Theatrical) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory (Extended) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Shout! Factory (Theatrical) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory (Extended) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Shout! Factory (Theatrical) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory (Extended) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

















Example of Standard Definition inserts in Extended Version





Audio :

The audio for both version is transferred, essentially, the same: a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel, reasonably robust in 24-bit. Aside from the above noted sync issues, the audio is about the same level as the video - imperfect but reasonably consistent. the score is by Waldo de los Ríos (Bad Man's River, A Town Called Hell Who Can Kill a Child?) and adds some suspense and mystery sounding decent in the lossless. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.


Extras :

Extras include a poor video quality, 6-minute, interview with actor John Moulder-Brown from the Munich Film Festival in 2011 plus there is a Film Festival Q & A with actress Mary Maude (wayward Irene in the film) for 12-minutes from 2012 discussing her first feature film. We also get a theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots plus a extensive stills gallery.



I watched both versions and while I lean to the extended - so I think its inclusion does have value. I found the quality issues weren't bothersome - although both SD-bump and audio sync were noticeable. It's a kind of interesting psychological thriller with a great setting and hinting at the gruesome and perverse. There was a pleasing style and the whole thing was well realized, IMO. There is something adept and creepy here. The Shout! Factory Blu-ray gives the option of both versions - with warts and imperfects on the 'extended' - and the extras were largely filler. I think I'll be revisiting - it carried enough nostalgic horror charm from the 70s. Recommended to genre fans! 

Gary Tooze

January 5th, 2017


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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