I Bury the Living (1958)

I’m going to be honest: watching a horror movie every day for 31 days straight is difficult. Some days get no movie at all. Some movies are so terribly atrocious they scare me away from anything labeled “horror.” And, some movies aren’t quite horror at all. I Bury the Living falls into this category: sort of a horror movie, but more of a suspense/thriller type in the same vein as The Twilight Zone.

Robert’s instrument of destruction!

Robert Kraft has recently been appointed by committee as the director of a cemetery. The cemetery’s caretaker, Andy, keeps a map of the cemetery in the office, using black pins to indicate occupied graves and white pins to show those sites that have been reserved by the living. On a whim, Robert switches two white pins for black – and not long after receives word that the two people those pins represented died in a car crash.

Terribly disturbed by this, Robert can’t help but feel that he was somehow responsible for their deaths. In an attempt to prove to himself that he was not, he removes a white pin at random and replaces it with a black one. Sure enough, days later he’s told that the man the pin represented died. Obviously, this makes things much worse for Robert, and he tells his fellow committee-members that he should no longer be in charge of the cemetery. Instead of allowing him to quit, they all suggest Robert remove the white pins on their reserved grave sites and replace them with black ones. Robert deliberates over what to do, and gets a little crazier every day.

I really liked this movie. It looked great and kept me engaged. I think I actually sat on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would happen next: that doesn’t happen to me very often, especially with older movies. Also, don’t you think that map would make a great and morbid tattoo?


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