Scene 59: So, Ruth has had enough of Baroness' Graps and her killer ghost-kid, since she'd taken out her beloved Karl. She decides to get a bit of hands of vengeance against the old medium:
Scene 60: Down in the tomb, with Graps' death, the door opens for Paul and he rushes out onto the balcony landing to save Monica from jumping over in her desperation to escape from Melissa's ghost (although, at this point, it seems to me that Melissa is trying to reach out to her sister - I think this is what the doll meant throughout, that Melissa didn't want to hurt her sister, she was trying to comfort her).
Monica leans against the ballustrade of the balcony and it crumbles away due to age and decay. She damned near goes over to her death, but 'natch Paul is able to scoop her into his arms JUST IN TIME.
From a dark shadow of the tomb, Melissa watches with a tear on her face as she fades away....
Commentary: I don't know. It's kind of ambiguous. She could be crying because her sister never reached back out to her. She could be crying because Monica didn't die (maybe the doll wasn't to comfort her after all, though I don't like this interpretation). Maybe she's crying because the favored doll she went to the trouble of trying to get to Monica twice was sent to its doom moments later by her clumsy sis. Maybe she's crying with the regret of the things that her mother forced her to do.
Scene 61: Meanwhile, Ruth is gasping out her last breath, as we see that Graps managed to spear her with the fire poker before getting herself strangled.
Commentary: Hey, say what you want about Ruth's utter lack of morality in this whole thing - she was one tough lady in the end....
She gets a dying monologue about the chain being broken and keeping promises and whatever-whatever.
Commentary: Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "Yeah, but your promises not to interfere with the murder as long as you and your boyfriend were left alone hardly makes you the heroine, you selfish bitch".
Scene 61: And to the closing scene music, Paul and Monica stumble out of the Villa and away from the nightmare, while our POV closes in on the hideous portrait of Melissa Graps.
And then we see Paul and Monica running away from her childhood home of a psychopathic mother and murderous-ghost slave-sister and into the morning sunlight....
The Good: I like most of the character work: Paul, Ruth (until her revelation), Karl, Baroness Graps (she has much pathos before we find out she is the murderer using her own tortured ghost of her dead daughter) and Nadienne & her family.
I love the sets for the most part, but especially the decayed feeling of the dying town and the disaster that is the Villa Graps.
I also love the costuming across the board.
The lighting added so much.
The amazing Paul-catches-up-with-self, Paul-fades-into-painting and Monica-on-the-run-down-the-stairs scenes were all well shot, inventive and atmospheric.
I really liked this story, especially the way that you weren't sure if Graps was crazy or really was being tormented by killer-Melissa against her will.
I really just adored Giovanna Galletti's work as the Baroness Graps.
The Bad: Just the overuse of cobwebs ... really, why would Karl's home have gigantic webs all over the second floor??
The muddled explanations for Monica's background and history requires some squinting to force it to make sense, especially when it comes to her foster parents.
I did find Piero Lulli to be overacting hammily as the frustrated Inspector Krueger.
Other Thoughts: I do wish we were left with something a bit less ambiguous regarding Melissa's intentions toward Monica at the end. And the number of times that Monica is yelling "Paul!" and vice versa was getting ridiculous. But, I find this gothic ghost story to be filled with atmosphere and for the most part the denouement makes sense, as long as you can buy the conceit that Ruth is being played like she's the self-sacrificing hero, when clearly she absolutely isn't considering what we find out during her confrontation with Graps.
The Score: Despite a few annoyances and some unclear storytelling, I always enjoy watching this one:
4.0 out of 5