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The Attic (1980)

 -  Drama | Thriller | Horror  -  October 1980 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 416 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 12 critic

A librarian devotes her life to caring for her wheelchair-bound tyrannical father after being stood up at the altar. She fantasizes about causing deaths of the men who most wronged her and ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Title: The Attic (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Louise Elmore
...
Wendell
...
Emily
...
Mrs. Perkins
...
Librarian
Fern Barry ...
Mrs. Mooney
Marjorie Eaton ...
Mrs. Fowler
Dick Welsbacher ...
Missing Persons Agent
Joyce Cavarozzi ...
Secretary
Michael LeRoy Rhodes ...
Sailor (as Michael Rhodes)
Ron Luce ...
Young Robert
Phil Speary ...
Travel Agent
Patrick Brennan ...
David Perkins
Mark Andrews ...
Marty, Gardener
Terry Troutt ...
Donald
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Storyline

A librarian devotes her life to caring for her wheelchair-bound tyrannical father after being stood up at the altar. She fantasizes about causing deaths of the men who most wronged her and finds joy only with her pet monkey. Her monkey disappears and a shocking past is revealed. Written by Bill Smith <bsmith30@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's Daddy's Little Girl ... FOREVER! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Attic  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Getting director George Edwards to Wichita, Kansas for filming proved to be a difficult and costly process. Edwards feared flying so he started out to Kansas on a train. However, Edwards fell ill on board and ended up taking a cab from Arkansas to Kansas afterward. It cost $1,500 dollars. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Louise pushes her father, played by Ray Milland down the hill, you can see that Milland's stunt double looks nothing like him. He is a man with brown hair and a beard, when Milland was completely bald in the film. See more »

Connections

Features Deadly Games (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ticket
Music by Hod David Schudson
Lyrics by Maggie Thompson
Performed by George Ball
See more »

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User Reviews

Works if you're in the right mood...
15 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is NOT a horror film. Like its "prequel," "The Killing Kind," it's more a psychological study of how nasty parents can really mess up their children's lives, and how ironically nasty life can be.

Louise, brilliantly played by the wonderful, under-utilized and now-departed actress Carrie Snodgrass, is a spinster librarian with a hateful, controlling, wheelchair-bound dad played with unashamed evil glee by Ray Milland. Louise is depressed beyond belief--she's never gotten over the loss of her fiancée who disappeared 19 years ago, or an accident that led to her father being in a wheelchair. She does anything she can to cope: attempts suicide, masturbates, has a one-night stand, plans vacations she'll never have the courage to take, retires from her job and even takes care of a chimpanzee. But she's not a balanced person--she constantly fantasizes about rejecting her abusive and mean father and loses track of reality on occasion. She was admits to being involved in a library arson, and that she'd do it again. She drinks a little too. But things seem to be going her way at last when Louise makes a friend out of a co-worker, a sincere young woman who boosts Louise's confidence, and gives her hope, sets her on the road to recovering her self-esteem and her life.

But, as in "Carrie," happiness is not in the cards for Louise, and it all comes to an end in a series of ironic surprises, and a stormy conclusion in a creepy attic where unpleasant truths are finally revealed.

This is not a horror movie--it's not scary or gory at all. You have to be in the right mood to enjoy this movie. You have to be depressed, and feeling hateful, and old, and grief over the loss of someone or something you love to really get into this movie. You have to feel like the world is an unfair, cruel place to live, and be interested in a movie that confirms your worst fears...the world IS against you! There are some wonderful moments of black humor--the secret Ray Milland has been hiding about his health is somehow so cruel it's almost funny, and listening to Carrie Snodgrass break out of character and scream is a wonderful experience. Some of Louise's fantasies show her screaming or acting sly and seductive in that unusual voice of hers, giving just a hint of what Ms. Snodgrass might have delivered had more roles come her way. Ray Milland's hatred of the "Dicky the chimp" is hilarious, even as it degrades a once great actor in his declining years to be in such a role in, basically, an exploitation film. But I can't stop laughing when he first sees Dickey..."What in God's name is THAT!??"

It's not a great film, and hard to categorize; I have no idea who would have put up money for something like this, let alone how they got the actors they did. It's more sad than scary, and you really have to be in the right mood to watch a character who's life was pretty rotten almost get better, then fall into a bottomless pit of hopelessness.

Or maybe the implication is that Louise went on after this movie, and was able to start her life over, having broken the spell of the past that kept her from moving forward. Somehow, I highly doubt it though...!


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