Scotty moves into Mrs. Engels' seaside mansion where three other college students are boarding. Mrs. Engels prefers to stay in her room in the attic, but her son Mason helps the students ... See full summary »
Scotty moves into Mrs. Engels' seaside mansion where three other college students are boarding. Mrs. Engels prefers to stay in her room in the attic, but her son Mason helps the students get settled. Soon one of the students is killed. The policemen on the case begin uncovering the Engels family secret as the remaining students become endangered. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
For the interior front hallway set of the Engels house, the crew had to match both the doors of the exterior location and the unusual banister from the real upstairs location. See more »
When Mason and Mrs. Engle are struggling to gain control of the pistol, several shots are fired. In the close ups, you can see that the hammer is forward. The pistol used is a model 1911 variant and will not fire unless the hammer is cocked to the rear. See more »
Let it begin. Post-Halloween slashers are in force. But this just made it in before the major onslaught, and admirably it's a above par entry. Actually it probably has more common with "Psycho" , and touch of "Black Christmas", than most brain-dead slashers. The one-note story is quite typical and fairly bare on building much in the way of sub-plots, but it's the dreary, underlining atmosphere that smothers the gloomy seaside mansion and invokes a real unsteadiness of slow-burn tension. Even the performances lend well, and the central outlook on a dysfunctional family (who rent out spare rooms in their mansion to students) grows incredibly eerie. A silently steely Barbara Steele is memorably striking in her support role, while Rebecca Balding is competently fine as the main heroine. Cameron Mitchell and Yvonne De Carlo also show up. There's a subtle stylishness to Denny Harris' direction in many effective sequences, where obviously his less concerned about a body count and ghastly shocks. The feel is more like an old-fashioned Gothic-tale, with psychotic-drama currents. A problem though, would that there happened to be many flat (or dead-air) moments. Dead silence, and believable actions aplenty. It's low-budget shows, and minimal scope gives the film a tight, dank and creaky vibe that works. Even the vast, forlorn coastal location choices, and shadowy, cob-web house-bound settings are nailed down to perfection. Roger Kellaway's hysterically sombre music score had that familiar sound to it, but Michael D. Murphy & David Shore's murkily prying cinematography really sneaks up onto the viewer. Even within the empty passages, it still emit's a spine-tingling ambiance and workably solid performances by the cast.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?