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The Silent Scream (1979)

R | | Horror, Thriller | 1980 (USA)
During her first semester at college, a co-ed finds housing at a seaside mansion where, following the death of a fellow-student, she becomes entangled in a murder mystery surrounding the property and it's secretive tenants.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Balding ...
Scotty Parker
...
Lt. Sandy McGiver
...
Sgt. Manny Ruggin
...
Victoria Engels
...
Jack Towne
Brad Rearden ...
Mason Engels
John Widelock ...
Peter Ransom
Jack Stryker ...
Police Chief
...
Housing Lady
Tina Tyler ...
Victoria at 16
...
Mrs. Engels
Juli Andelman ...
Doris Prichart
Annabella Price ...
TV Rape Victim
Joe Pronto ...
TV Rapist
Jason Zahler ...
Mason at 3
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror so sudden there is no time to scream. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Silent Scream  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Diane McBain originally starred as Lt. Sandy McGiver. The filmmakers considered retaining her footage when the film was completely reworked, but the actor playing opposite her as Sgt. Manny Ruggin had a running gag where he was continuously eating donuts that the filmmakers decided didn't work. See more »

Goofs

The camera and cameraman are reflected off of the shiny squad car parked in front of the police station. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Being (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love You Baby, Oh Baby I Do
Words and Music by Roger Kellaway
Vocal Solo by Ken Barrie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Family comes first.
4 March 2008 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

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.


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