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Well made horror/suspense movie from the early 70's about a woman
(Farrow), blinded in a horse-riding accident, who goes to live with her
Uncle in a house in the English countryside. While she is out with her
old boyfriend, something is happening to her Uncle and the rest of her
family back in the house. But on returning, how can she know when she
Good suspense - sometimes the viewer is a step ahead of the blind woman, other times we are as blind as she is, a great score and good acting by all makes this a wonderful movie for a rainy afternoon. Interesting to see Michael Elphick and a young Paul Nicholas along for the ride too.
Beautifully photographed and directed.
5 out of 5.
There's been quite a few rainy afternoons when I've dusted down my copy
of Blind Terror and settled down to watch it again, and every time I'm
left with the same feeling: something isn't quite right about this
movie, despite obvious skill in places.
Brian Clemens is hardly an intellectual writer, but as a writer of simple television thrillers he's a legend. And like many of the best TV writers, his success as a screenwriter is varied. Both Blind Terror and And Soon The Darkness point the way forward to Clemens' THRILLER TV series of the Seventies, which effectively exploited the "girl in peril" situation. What makes these two movies different is their rather unpleasant, slightly depressing feel. "Darkness" is very slow and rather uneasy in its voyeurism, whilst Terror is a little too nasty to be a wholly enjoyable thriller.
Perhaps the most telling and interesting sequence is actually the opening credits, with Bernstein's enjoyable but somehow inappropriate music accompanying the faceless killer leaving a cinema that is showing "The Convent Murders" and "Rapist Cult", an only slightly exaggerated take on early Seventies exploitation movies in Britain. He then walks along a street where every shop seems to be selling violence: a TV shop has a set displaying a murder taking place, a toy shop sells toy guns and a newsagent displays grim headlines.
From there the movie is rather predictable, and unfolds at a slow pace (nothing really happens until about 50 minutes in) but is somehow pretty watchable all the same. Along the way there are some fascinating glimpses of Seventies Britain to be enjoyed. But from the inexplicable massacre at the house onwards things feel a little sluggish and the killer is so one-dimensional we do not have much interest in his actions. And why does he try and find the bracelet again at the end, as if Sarah would still have it! The ending is terribly abrupt and nothing is explained.
Fleisher's direction though is careful and he uses a fantastic trick of keeping the camera close on Farrow during her long escape sequence so that we cannot see where she is heading either.
There are also a couple of good moments of surprise but the movie is lacking a real scare and the overwhelming impression is one of gloom.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In "Blind Terror", Mia Farrow had lost her sight in a fall from her
horse, but had come to terms with her handicap and was calm, gay and
happy to be reunited with her former lover, Steve (Norman Eshley).
Then the first threads of menace appear: a man, seen only as a pair of high-heeled cowboy-style boots, watches the family constantly... We become aware of his envy of their security and their money, and of Sarah's happiness at being home... And then the threat increased into stark horror... Returning home from a ride with Steve, Sarah discovers the bodies, one by one, of her family, murdered in her absence...
Can you imagine the awful progression of such a discovery in a sightless world?
Petrified in her darkness, Sarah stumbles towards the kitchen, to get out for help... She opens the wrong door and falls down the cellar steps... Recovering consciousness, she hears footsteps overhead...
She makes it to the hall, feels her way towards the front door-but it opens towards her and the family gardener is there, shot in the stomach, trying to warn her...
Now gripped by panic, Sarah makes her way cautiously to the stables, gets her horse and leads it out-only to be thrown and left alone in the deserted countryside...
There is more to come... She walks with uncertain, uneven steps, meets a gypsy, and utters breathlessly to him her story... Unsuspectingly, she hands over her one piece of vital evidence-a broken bracelet inscribed 'Jacko.' We can see, but she cannot... The man's look of alarm as he snatches it from her...
It is Steve who rescues her, frightened and covered in mud from scratching her way out of a clay pit... He takes her home... She seems safe at last... She prepares to take a bath... And as she closes the door, we see the telltale cowboy 'boots' standing in the corner... They walk towards her...
For those who like to scream, "Blind Terror" is a competent but routine heart-stopper...
This one is good. It's very realistic and it stuck with me for years. The story revolves around a blind girl whose family gets murdered, but because she can't see, she doesn't know the bodies and the killer are in the house. It's a really creepy movie. Mia Farrow was completely convincing as a blind girl. I really like this movie and highly recommend it if you want something different.
In the countryside of England, Sarah (Mia Farrow) returns to Manor Farm
to live with her uncle George Rexton (Robin Bailey), her aunt Sandy
Rexton (Diane Grayson) and her cousin Betty Rexton (Dorothy Alison)
after an accident with her horse where she was blind. Sarah knows the
interior of the house by heart so she can independently move by
herself. When her former boyfriend Steve Reding (Norman Eshley) invites
her to visit his horse farm, George and Sandy tell that they are going
to visit a friend and Betty tells that she has a date so she will be
alone for a couple of hours when she returns to the house. Steve still
loves Sarah and they ride together in the fields. When Sarah returns, a
maniac has killed her family and the gardener Barker (Brian Rawlinson)
but she cannot see them dead. On the next morning, Steve gives a horse
to Sarah and she leaves the animal in the stable. When she returns to
the manor, she finds that her family was murdered and Barker that is
still alive shows her a silver bracelet on the floor with the name of
the killer. He tells that she is in danger since the killer will return
to the manor to retrieve the bracelet. Barker dies and the killer comes
back to the house. Will the frightened Sarah flee from him?
"Blind Terror", a.k.a. "See No Evil" is a timeless classic thriller with an original story. I saw this movie for the first time in the movie theater when I was a teenager and I was impressed with the outstanding performance of Mia Farrow in the beginning of her career. This movie has not aged and it is still a scary British movie. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Terror Cego" ("Blind Terror")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Enjoyable and suspenseful chiller/thriller. The opening scene - a
stranger whose identity is suppressed from the waist up, with only a
pair of stylish cowboy boots and a pair of well fitting jeans; worn by
a young nicely built male figure to tittilate the viewer's curiosity;
leaving the cinema and wandering the evening streets.
The viewer is given an insight to this figure's obvious tastes for the darker/seedier side of life by his viewing and reading material. Hinting at the mind within, perhaps giving us some clues that his interests may go further than the drives of a red blooded male.
A young blind woman "Sarah" is staying with her relatives in beautiful manner house. Her Aunt and Uncle obviously very well heeled "refined" and certainly a class above the "riff raff" or "gypsies" in surrounding areas, were accommodating and concerned for Sara's condition (being thrown tragically from a horse earlier causing the blindness).
The only real initial hint to the horrifying events that later transpire is with Sarah's relatives, early in the movie, who happened to drive past this "stranger" on his evening walk in their stylish wealthy car hitting a puddle and splashing his "stylish" boots as a consequence(which obviously were his pride and joy) ....but was this really the trigger? Either way, it certainly seemed to seal the unfortunate wealthy occupant's fate and perhaps gave this apparent drifter the extra motivation he may have been searching for to find a target to focus on and "hit out". Or were they already selected?
The booted stranger's obvious contempt of the wealthy is evident his in scratching of this same car's paintwork on another occasion. This petty revenge for his boot splash from their expensive merchandise would have surely satisfied him? But apparently not....His revenge/hatred is later to be unleashed in full shocking and cold blooded fury in one foul sweep within their own beautiful home. Leaving only Sarah unscathed to live within the same house blissfully unaware of being amidst a literal slaughter house....until her shocking discovery!
In blind terror (literally) she needs to escape, but this is hard when the killer returns to locate his identity bracelet that fell off his wrist during his rampage! One victim, barely alive, in his last moments manages to direct a hysterical Sarah to the bracelet not a minute too soon before "Mr Boots" arrives on the scene. And here is where the movie REALLY gets going. A cat and blind mouse hunt which keeps the viewer transfixed from then on!
The movie seems to leave you wondering what the real movitation of the apparent "stranger/murderer" in the stylish cowboy boots REALLY is.... Is "he" an unemployed drifter? A lone psychopath without any reason other than cold blooded urges? Or is there much more to it? A background we don't know about fueling an already inwardly enraged or even "Deranged" mind? Someone who may have been fully employed and giving no outward indication of what murderous feelings lay within and simply seethed and obsessed for years before finally acting out...
Inner hatred and contempt of the wealthier classes? Feelings of bitterness/revenge against his superiors? particularly those who spoke down to their workers?
Sexual frustration/class frustration and perhaps been a victim of Sandy's light flirations, further fueling his anger?
Could the horse incident have been part of it? Sarah blinded by falling from the horse and the horse being shot because of her becoming handicapped? rather than the apparent "broken leg". Being a stable-hand and probably a love for horses, could that too have influenced this murderer's hatred towards these people?
Or did he so value his boots to such a pathological extent that the idea of those of a "higher class" driving past and causing them to become wet and dirty, further influenced his already growing anger at people he felt were out of his league/class?
Or a combination, mixing in with an already sick mind?
One can only wonder!
The ending mainly! A surprisingly exposed and blunt ending, after such a well done suspenseful build up, one would have hoped for the climax to be just as effective...yet somehow it left one somewhat flat. At least it did for me to a point. And perhpas few too many "coincidences" one might say, particularly for the more cynical viewer, but so well done throughout most of the movie that it could still keep you pretty spellbound. Mia's performance was, I think, outstanding. All in all, the movie has repeat value! You can certainly watch it more than once.
REAL SPOILER, DON'T READ IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO KNOW THE MURDERER'S IDENTITY:
If you watch the movie carefully, take note of the stable-hand in the early scenes. One of the workers in Steve's stables. A young, rather attractive young guy with longish light/medium brown hair. You'd almost miss him if you didn't focus and have good face recall! Notice the name Steve calls him as he's coming out to meet Sarah...you just catch it, but he says no more as he's side tracked towards Sarah as she gets out of the car.
Then make the comparison with name on the bracelet that is later found in Manner House and then the face identity revelation at the end ;-)
I personally think that See No Evil is a movie with the right amount of suspense. Sarah (Mia Farrow) is a woman whose life has been turned upside down when she became blind. She goes to England to live with relatives and try to rebuild a life with family and an old boyfriend. Her life becomes disrupted when a maniac kills her family. She is unaware of this until one day she comes home from horseback riding with her old flame Steve. She decides to relax and take a bath, only to discover that her family has been slaughtered. I enjoy this movie because it is not over dramatized, all the events in the movie seem to fit. This movie is not overly done. A movie does not have to be filled with blood and slaughter in every scene to be consider a great thriller or suspense. Like the old saying goes, it is all in the eyes of the beholder.
Mention Mia Farrow's name to horror fans and most of them will
instantly (and understandably) think of Polanski's classic, Rosemary's
Baby; my immediate thought, however, would be of Blind Terror, a lesser
known thriller in which Ms. Farrow plays Sarah, a blind girl whose
relatives become the target of a psycho killer after her uncle
accidentally splashes the loony's precious cowboy boots. I first saw
this film at a rather tender age and its macabre concept, senseless
killing and shocking images have haunted me ever since.
Directed by Richard Fleischer, Blind Terror opens with our nutter leaving a cinema (having caught the amazing sounding double-bill of 'The Convent Murders' and 'Rapist Cult'). He then passes a newspaper stand displaying horrific headlines, a store with a display of toy guns, and a TV shop showing a bloodthirsty film; violence, it seems, is all around us, although often we choose not to see it. Poor blind Sarah, on the other hand, doesn't have much of a choice: after the soggy-footed psycho pays a visit to her Uncle's farmhouse (whilst she is out with her boyfriend), she returns home, and prepares for bed, all the while blissfully unaware that the bloody corpses of her nearest and dearest lay all around her.
Only when Sarah eventually tries to get into her bath does she realise that something is terribly wrongbecause that's where her uncle's lifeless body has been dumped! Meanwhile, the killer discovers that he has left behind a vital clue that could reveal his identity, and returns to the farmhouse to find it...
Fleischer's deliberately paced and carefully considered direction (which makes brilliant use of imaginative camera angles and cleverly framed shots), combined with excellent cinematography from Gerry Fisher and a completely convincing central performance from Farrow, ensure that this film is a success despite a few rather contrived moments in an otherwise well-crafted script by Brian Clemens (a case of mistaken identity at the end of the film is rather far-fetched, and the fact that Sandy, Sarah's pretty cousin, would date a 'diddycoy' is also difficult to swallow).
Atmospheric, suspenseful, and packed with nerve-shredding moments, Blind Terror is an under-rated slice of 70s British cinema that, although not perfect, is still well worth seeking out.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
The first 45 minutes of "Blind Terror" are excellent and you have the
feeling you're watching a great thriller. Director's Richard Fleischer
handling of the atmosphere and introduction of the psycho killer just
by showing his feet wearing cowboy boots is brilliant.
But then the boots chase a blind Mia Farrow and as she gets away the film sort of looses intensity and impact and becomes sort of slow. It recovers later with the final sequences and revelation of the psycho.
Mia Farrow's performance as the menaced blind victim is excellent.
Although no one could say this is not an entertaining and exciting thriller -mainly fans of the genre-, you get the feeling that it could have been even better if that in-the-middle-sort-of-bump could have been avoided.
All in all, "Blind Terror" is a good thriller worth watching. A 7 (out of 10) for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As if rediscovering the world as a blind person isn't hazardous enough, here Farrow must contend with not only figuring out how to make instant coffee, but also fending off a bloodthirsty murderer! She plays a young lady who has lost her sight as the result of a horseback riding accident. After a period of rehabilitation, she comes to stay at a secluded country estate with her aunt, uncle and female cousin. Things start off hopeful enough as her old beau Eshley is still interested in her and welcomes her to proceed with their relationship in lieu of going away to a special school in order to learn a trade. Unfortunately, her uncle Bailey has managed to set off an unstable, boot-wearing, angry, young punk and this leads to a vicious episode of slaughter. Naturally, Farrow eventually finds herself confronting the killer after coming upon bodies, one after another. Just when she thinks she's free, there's an entirely new, and even more harrowing adventure in store for her! The film begins with an obvious message, that society breeds violence through the continual glorification of it in films, on TV and even in toys. The killer is shown walking by every conceivable example of it before Bailey makes the mistake of splashing rainwater on his boots with his fancy car. Farrow is well-cast as the fragile, yet resilient, heroine. Her vulnerable, waif-like frame and wan complexion make her seem like particularly easy prey for the relentless murderer. Though some of her movements seem a bit overdone at times (and the film actually asks the audience to believe that she could walk around a kitchen TWICE to make coffee and never once brush against a plethora of broken glass that is strewn all over the floor), she is generally fine at suggesting the affliction of her character. Eshley is a reasonably dashing hero for her and looks nice in his riding pants. The family members provide adequate personalities in their thinly sketched roles. The film benefits from some lovely location settings and a strong sense of atmosphere. Particular mention must be made of the terrific camera-work which does an excellent job of letting the viewer see only so much of what is present in a room. Where the film fails to a certain extent is in the fact that this is barely enough story to fill a one hour TV anthology and so there's plenty of padding as a result. Also, so many trials and tribulations are piled up on Farrow towards the end that it sometimes comes off as hysterically funny. By the time she (apparently doing most, if not all, of her own stunts) has burst through a wall, rolled down a hill, fallen into mud and is banging a muffler on an abandoned car roof, she has become too much like Mr. Bill for comfort. It's overkill (and that's not the end!) Also, the identity of the killer is not only mishandled (no one seems very surprised by it and his behavior is wildly inconsistent to say the least) but the film cheats a bit in having him change clothing more than once within the course of a day for no believable reason. Still, for tension and wince-inducing creepiness, this film does deliver, especially in its midsection and again near the very end. Composer Bernstein has quite a field day here, especially during the opening credits.
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