Locked in a school closet during Halloween 1962, young Frank witnesses the ghost of a young girl and the man who murdered her years ago. Shortly afterward he finds himself stalked by the killer and is soon drawn to an old house where a mysterious Lady In White lives. As he discovers the secret of the woman he soon finds that the killer may be someone close to him. Written by
This film combines elements from many other genres, and makes itself unique. It is a ghost story, a murder mystery, a nostalgia film, and a family drama.
The story is centered on Frankie, a successful novelist of horror stories. He returns to his home town in the Northeastern United States, during autumn, and the basic film is a flashback.
Within the film are hints that make it more intriguing. Frankie sells greeting cards, and from them gets a typewriter, presaging his career as an author. His schoolwork reflects this, as he writes a frightening short story to spook his schoolmates -- and his teacher. A couple of his classmates trick him into going into the coat closet as the school is closing, and lock him in.
After trying to get out, he eventually falls asleep, and wakens to the sight of the ghost of a young girl, who is condemned to relive, as it were, her murder. Later, the murderer comes into the closet and nearly strangles Frankie to death.
Frankie has a near-death experience, but is revived. He then experiences a number of unusual events, such as seeing The Lady In White, a ghost of a woman seeking her missing daughter. Much of the story is seen in the context of an Italo-American family, with mild comedic incidents.
Major spoiler: The identity of the murderer is a bit easy to figure out, particularly with him whistling an early Bing Crosby song that Frankie (and the audience) knows is connected to the little girl's ghost.
The film delivers on all its fronts, and is perfect to watch after the Trick-Or-Treaters have finished.
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