As Aunt Alice, Ruth Gordon applies for the job of housekeeper in the Tucson, Arizona home of widow Claire Marrable in order to find out what happened to a missing widowed friend, Edna ... See full summary »
A high school outcast who lives in a trailer with his mother finally meets a friend. He wants to ask her if they can go the next step, but then sees her kissing another boy at a party. He ... See full summary »
Six young friends on a road trip in Ireland run afoul of gypsies who curse them for accidentally running down an old woman. The curse takes the form of a terrifying flying creature that tries killing them all.
This is a retelling of the old tale of Hansel and Gretel, but set in England in the 1920s. To the children and staff at the orphanage, Auntie Roo is a kindly American widow who gives them a lavish Christmas party each year in her mansion, Forrest Grange. In reality, she is a severely disturbed woman, who keeps the mummified remains of her little daughter in a nursery in the attic. One Christmas, her eye falls upon a little girl who reminds her of her daughter and she imprisons her in her attic. Nobody believes her brother, Christopher, when he tells them what has happened, so he goes to rescue her. Written by
Who Slew Auntie Roo is still one of the most cleverly constructed films of the 70s.
An interesting and fascinating take on the Hansel and Gretel story.
Mrs. Forrest (Shelley Winters) is a rich widow who had been married to a successful British Magician. He died leaving her his fortune and creepy mansion called "Forrest Grange" Their little 7 year old daughter Katherine died after falling off a banister that she was sliding down.
The film opens with Auntie Roo as she is called by the orphans singing a lullabye to what appears to be a child in a cradle. Auntie Roo quietly steals out after we think the child is asleep. The camera slowly pans to the cradle only to reveal a rotted corpse of a child in a nightgown. This sets the scenario for the film.
Auntie Roo is obviously an eccentric. She has constant seances in an attempt to communicate with her dead daughter. Of course her psychic is in cahoots with the servants who stage the seances.
It is now time for Aunt Roo's annual Christmas Party where 10 lucky children from the local orphanage are selected to attend an overnight holiday party at Forrest Grange. Christopher and Katy Coombs, a brother and sister are not selected, but stow away in the back of the car. Auntie Roo sees a resemblance in Katy to her dead daughter Katherine...and of course the movie takes off from here. The children see Auntie Roo as the witch in Hansel and Gretel...and Forrest Grange is the Gingerbread House. I won't give away any more of the plot, but the psychological games between the children and Auntie Roo as their terror mounts makes for an extremely entertaining film.
Aside from Shelley Winter's bravura performance, there are also strong contributions from Sir Ralph Richardson as her psychic; Rosemary Crutchley as the director of the orphanage, Mark Lester (of Oliver fame) as Christopher. The art and set direction are marvelous along with excellent camera work and lighting.
This film makes for a different and offbeat Christmas movie or just a plain "fun" movie to watch anytime!
21 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?