Jun 25, 2020

A Rat in the Dark (1979)

(Original Title: Una rata en la oscuridad) A Mexican horror film about two ladies who move into an old house haunted by a creepy cross-dressing ghost.

 A fixer-upper has just been sold.

 The proud homeowners are Josefina (Ana Luisa Peluffo) and Sonia (Anaís de Melo)

But there is this creepy painting over the mantle. 

 Josefina and Sonia get to work.

 Afterwards, it's time for a massage.

 And a bath.

But as Sonia leaves, a pair of creepy hands grabs her panties left on the bed.

 Josefina takes a shower.

 Alone in her bedroom, Sonia is approached by a mysterious darkened figure.

As the figure approaches, rats appear and skitter around Sonia as she sleeps.

 The next day Sonia hears a hideous laugh somewhere in the house.

Sunbathing, Sonia tells Josefina about the strange business, but it's not taken seriously.

 A mysterious figure watches from the window.

Once again that night, the figure approaches Sonia.

 But as it gets closer, she has no memory of what happens next.

 The next day, Josefina is also witness to the strange noises.

 Another nighttime encounter with the ghost.

 Josefina lies in bed terrified - sure that she's seen a ghostly hand reach out for her.

She frantically walks through the house and trips down the stairs.

 When Josefina wakes up, she finds Sonia seemingly under a spell.

 Sonia attacks her, but Josefina is able to knock her out.

 She can't revive her.  Then she too passes out.

 The next morning she's informed by a kindly doctor (José Antonio Marros) that Sonia is being taken care of at the hospital and she'll be fine.

 That evening, Josefina stands paralyzed with fear as the ghostly being approaches.

 The ghost seduces Josefina.

 The ghost (Ricardo Cortés) turns out to be a man in drag (!)

 In an instant the ghost is gone, and she's left squirming in ecstasy alone.

 The ghost is gone - was it even real? 

The next morning we finally get full frontal nudity from Ana Luisa Peluffo

 She checks on Sonia in the hospital and finds she's not been admitted.

 She runs back to the house and finds Sonia dead on the floor.

 She lights the damn painting on fire.

The ghost isn't going to go that easily.  It sends the fireplace poker at Josefina.

 Rats scuttle around the dead woman.

We see the for sale is back up - and the realtor is the "ghost". THE END

The only thing I didn't like about this movie was Anaís de Melo's haircut.  It was beautifully shot, and genuinely horrifying... a very unusual haunted house story.  The ghost, oddly enough, reminded me a bit of the long-haired ghosts of Asian horror movies in the nineties.  Lots of nudity as well.  I suspect most will find it boring, as it is very simple with only a couple characters. However, I'd rank it among the best haunted house films of the seventies.


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