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La residencia

Spanish film poster
Directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
Produced by Arturo González
Jose M. Maldonado
Written by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
Juan Tébar
Starring Lilli Palmer
Cristina Galbó
John Moulder-Brown
Mary Maude
Music by Waldo de los Ríos
Cinematography Manuel Berenguer
Godofredo Pacheco
Editing by Mercedes Alonso
Reginald Mills
Release date(s) Spain:
Running time 99 min.
Country Spain
Language English

La residencia is a 1969 Spanish horror film directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador. The film stars Lili Palmer as Señora Fourneau the headmistress of a French boarding school for young women. Palmer's deranged son Luis' (John Moulder Brown) frustrated desires force psychotic urges to the surface, compelling him to stalk the hapless boarders in the hope of acquiring body parts.[1]

The film was released under various English titles including The House That Screamed and The Boarding School.[1]



The film takes place in a 19th-century French boarding school for difficult girls. Headmistress Senora Fourneau (Lili Palmer) forbids her teenage son Luis (John Moulder Brown) near any of the girls, finding none of the girls good enough for him. A series of murders begin taking place in the latest arrival of the girl Teresa (Cristina Galbó) and Fourneau's assistant Irene (Mary Maude). Fourneau investigates these deaths eventually leading her to the attic where she finds Luis has been dismembering the women in order to create his own "ideal woman". Luis then locks up his mother with his new creation.


La residencia was director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador's first horror film.[2] The screenplay is based on a story by Juan Tébar. Serrador wrote the screenplay under the name "Luis Peñafiel."[3]

The film was created as a commercial film with the express purpose of breaking into the international market.[2] The film was shot in English, making it the first Spanish film shot in that language.[4]



Director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador did not appreciate how the film had been promoted, stating that it was "terribly promoted, promoted with clichés".[5] The film was released by American International Pictures in the United States and did not do well with contemporary American audiences.[4]



The film was released in Spain to very mixed reviews. Antonio Pelayo of Cinestudio wrote a review questioning the budget of the film, stating that other Spanish directors could have produced "at least two films of the same technical standard".[6] Pérez Gómez of Reseña wrote a positive review, stating that the film was "respectable commercial cinema".[6] Miguel Marías of Nuestro Cine found the film disrespectful to cinema and audiences, stating that financial support for such films that "insult her/him, and consider her/him a retard whose subnormality needs to be fed".[6][7] Marías also critiqued film critics who supported the film.[7]


  1. ^ a b Binion, Cavett. "The House That Screamed". Allmovie. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  2. ^ a b Willis and Lázaro-Reboll, 2004, p. 152
  3. ^ Willis and Lázaro-Reboll, 2004, p. 160
  4. ^ a b Willis and Lázaro-Reboll, 2004, p. 158
  5. ^ Willis and Lázaro-Reboll, 2004, p. 157
  6. ^ a b c Willis and Lázaro-Reboll, 2004, p. 162
  7. ^ a b Willis and Lázaro-Reboll, 2004, p. 163


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