Whilst out on a rowboat with his wife Louise, John Haloran has a heart attack and dies. She casts his body overboard and hides his death telling the family he left on an urgent business ...
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Whilst out on a rowboat with his wife Louise, John Haloran has a heart attack and dies. She casts his body overboard and hides his death telling the family he left on an urgent business trip. Louise's main concern is that she can only hope to inherit part of his family fortune if he's still alive. The Halorans are a strange family. They are still grieving over the death of the youngest daughter, Kathleen, who drowned in a pond when she was a young child. The family hold an annual ceremony of remembrance, on the anniversary of her death. But this year someone is wielding an ax...intent on murder. Written by
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Most of the reviews here center on this being good solely because it was a beginning of sorts for Francis Ford Coppola, well maybe I exaggerate slightly, but the film really should be seen as an entity un to itself. It really is quite good. The story centers on a disfunctional family in a large Irish castle that had tragedy befall them six years ago when the youngest daughter died by drowning, Since then the father has died and the mother has become obsessed with the death of her only daughter Kathleen, and she has her sons and herself attend a mock funeral every year as a kind of memorial. Thrown into the picture are a fortune-hunting daughter-in-law and a strange, cryptic doctor(wonderfully played by the very underrated Patrick Magee). The film has some great scenes and is very high on atmosphere. Despite being made on a shoestring budget(although actually filmed in Ireland and around a real Irish castle), the film transcends its limited resources and becomes a series of atmospheric shocks. The death scenes are well-directed, particularly the two involving Luana Anders. The score by Corman regular Ronald Stein is also first-rate. A great film to watch late at night.
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