When I looked it up later, I saw that many sites bill it more as a fantasy rather than a horror film.
We have The Girl and The Boy who see each other at a party and make plans to go for a bike ride together. The ride around and play flirty games. It's very sweet. Then they decide to take a break from cycling for a bit and do a bit of exploring in this large, beautiful cemetery. Now, you may want to call shenanigans here, but I could totally see doing the same thing. The place was beautiful.
Here's where things run a bit off the rails. They decide to get some privacy by climbing down into this crypt and end up making love. Spoiler. :) Well, they stay down so long that day turns to night and all the visitors have left. They can't find their way out and slowly slip into a hysterical state as they try to find their way.
And they wander, pontificate, scream, explore.....
All the while, it's very pretty, but it's also so arthouse it hurts. I was happy that I got to see the film that was called out as one of his best. It is gorgeous. But, man is it an odd one! heh Knowing what I know now, I'd settle in for more of a fantasy or self exploration film and wouldn't expect horror elements. I believe that that is what confused me more than anything. I thought one of the characters was going to be the "villain" or that the dead would rise or something, but it really never goes there.
Françoise Pascal, though. My goodness. She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. She's amazing and mysterious and super interesting.
There are some rather haunting images in the film as well. It never goes into "horror", but they can be creepy and scary in their own way for sure!
I do recommend watching the film, but make sure you check out some of his other films as well - like THE GRAPES OF DEATH or THE LIVING DEAD GIRL if you're looking for true horror. THE IRON ROSE is a beautiful and poetic film and well worth a viddy!