5.4/10
1,306
40 user 23 critic

Stranger in Our House (1978)

A teenage girl's life is turned upside down after her cousin moves into her house, and as time goes by, she begins to suspect that she may be a practitioner of witchcraft.

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(teleplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rachel Bryant
...
Jeremy Slate ...
...
Mike Gallagher
Jeff East ...
Peter Bryant
...
Leslie Bryant
...
Professor Jarvis
...
Carolyn Baker
James Jarnigan ...
Bobby Bryant (as James Jarnagin)
Kerry Arquette ...
Anne
Sierra Pecheur ...
Nurse Duncan
Billy Beck ...
Sheriff
Patricia Wilson ...
Mrs. Gallagher
Frederick Rule ...
Mailman
Helena Mäkelä ...
Beverly Hills Lady (as Helena Makela)
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Storyline

A country family of five takes in cousin Julia, whose parents recently perished in a car crash. Julia extends her influence over the family and those around them, fooling all except for Rachel, the teenaged girl who knows her cousin is up to no good. Written by Brian J. Wright <tyrannorabbit@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Julia came to live with the Bryants. She claimed to be their cousin ... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Extraño verano  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After having a successful television run on both NBC and CBS, the film was re-titled "Summer of Fear" and given a theatrical release in Europe. See more »

Quotes

Julia: [finds a picture of Rachel's boyfriend Mike] Is he your solid feller?
Rachel Bryant: I guess so...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Atypical Craven, and a fun television horror flick at that
1 July 2006 | by (New York, NY, United States) – See all my reviews

Seeing that this was from legendary horror director Wes Craven, and starring Linda Blair (who served as the demon-possessed girl, Regan, in "The Exorcist"), I decided to give "Summer of Fear" a chance. I wasn't expecting a TV movie (which was titled "Stranger In Our House" during it's television run), but I actually ended up enjoying it.

The film centers around a teenage girl named Rachel. Rachel lives on a semi-secluded family farm in Northern California with her wealthy parents and siblings. When her mother's sister and brother-in-law die in a horrible car crash, their daughter, Julia, comes to live with them permanently. Julia seems somewhat normal, if not a little bit shy and withdrawn, but as time progresses, she puts an alluring spell over everyone she meets, and pulls all of Rachel's family and friends away from her. She begins getting close with Rachel's friends and her family, even stealing Rachel's boyfriend. After finding some strange items around the house (including burnt matches and a human tooth), Rachel discovers that Julia may be a practitioner of black magic. Now she must stop the evil witch before she launches her final assault.

Okay, okay. I have to admit, some things in this movie were a bit laughable, mostly Linda Blair's poofy, frizzed out hairdo. The acting was alright, not great, but you can't expect a whole lot from it. Linda Blair's performance was decent, if not a little whiny at times, Lee Purcell pulled off the 'mysterious cousin' archetype, and Fran Drescher even had a small role as one of Rachel's friends. The film isn't scary at all, but I will say the finale was pretty well done, although by today's standards the effects may seem a bit cartoonish. I found it interesting to see Craven directing a film of this nature in his earlier years, considering he had just done brutal horror films such as "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Last House on the Left".

To sum things up, I have to give "Summer of Fear" some credit— being a campy TV movie from the '70s, it has some chops. Although it lacked any substantial shocks or scares (except near the ending), I still found it to be a fun little piece of '70s nostalgia. Give it a look if you enjoy campy '70s horror, or if you want to see some of Craven's earlier work, because it is quite different from the films that he is most known for. All around good television terror. 7/10.


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