The Hearse (1980) starring Trish Van Devere, Joseph Cotten, David Gautreaux, Donald Hotton, Med Flory, Donald Petrie directed by George Bowers Movie Review

The Hearse (1980)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Trish Van Devere in The Hearse (1980)

Rolling Out the Cliches

Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) has had a rough year and almost suffered a nervous breakdown which is why after inheriting her aunt's home in a small rural town she decides to head there for the summer to get away from everything. But whilst she finds herself becoming involved with a man she soon starts to have second thoughts about being there as the locals make her feel less than welcome when they discover who she is and in which house she is staying whilst the constant appearance of an ominous hearse and strange visions torment her. As she tries to get to the bottom of why the locals are so cold towards her she discovers something in one of her aunt's old journals.

There are times when rather than watching something original you just want something familiar, something which is almost cliche filled so that it doesn't tax your brain as you watch it. But of course there are times you yearn for originality and when I watched "The Hearse" for the first time it was a day when I needed originality and it didn't serve it up. Instead what I got was one cliche after another done in nothing more than a routine manner which sadly means that "The Hearse" struggles to keep your attention due to its familiarity.

Now there are a few things going on in "The Hearse" from the locals being cold towards Jane, her fragile mind from a rough year, the spooky goings on from seeing things in the house as well as the hearse which shows up. But as I said it is cliche so when Jane is in her home at night we get the cliche aspect of the camera making it feel like we are watching her through the window as if we were a stalker and this is heightened by the "Halloween" / "Psycho" style music which accompanies it. It does little for you because it is too familiar as is the footage of the hearse which throws up dust as it lurches towards the camera, the front end looking like an angry face.

The thing is that "The Hearse" is not terrible, Trish Van Devere nicely acts her part as do most of the actors around her but to hate to sound like a broken record the characters and the acting is all too familiar. In fact it has the feel of an 80s TV movie which was ripping off better horror movies. But it does keep you watching out of a simple curiosity to know how this will end up.

What this all boils down to is that "The Hearse" is ordinary at best and simply a lot of cliches which you really need to be in the mood for as otherwise it struggles to keep your attention.