Crowhaven Farm (TV Movie 1970) Poster

(1970 TV Movie)

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A great, creepy classic from the seventies
bob wolf12 April 2001
Early on in Crowhaven Farm, Maggie Porter is awakened from a deep sleep by the sounds of a little girl crying. The eerie sounds are coming from off in the forest somewhere. Concerned that someone, namely a child, might be hurt, Maggie makes her way out into the night in the direction of the sound. As she treks into the dark forest, the crying suddenly turns into a demonic cackle. The haunting laughter engulfs Maggie and she collapses in fright.

Working with a limited budget and the content-expurgate restrictions placed on made-for-television fare, director Walter Grauman is still able to construct a frightening movie in Crowhaven Farm. He does it by simply letting the viewers imagination fill in the blanks. The strange noises in the forest, the blurred images of pilgrims torturing a mother-to-be off in a nearby clearing. What do they mean? Grauman shows the audience something, fleetingly, and then forces them to use their own imagination to fill in what is missing. That is where the true horror lies within Crowhaven Farm.

When the original inheritor dies in a strange car accident, a young couple, Maggie(Lange) and Ben(Burke) inherit a large farm and hundreds of acres of forest land. Dogged by marital problems the couple are determined to make a fresh start in the new setting. Maggie senses something odd early on and her first inclination is to leave but Ben talks her out of it. The inclination turns out to be correct as Maggie begins hearing strange noises and seeing odd visions of people dressed in Seventeenth-century garb. When a young girl(Eilbacher) drifts into their life things quickly move from bizarre to down right terrifying. Maggie soon discovers a parallel between her problem and a two-hundred year old coven of witches who may have committed sacrifices on the very farm land she inhabits.

Crowhaven Farm elicits some great performances from its cast. Hope Lange is especially great. She offers a performance very reminiscent of Mia Farrow's panicky turn in Rosemary's Baby, as the woman who discovers all is not what it may seem. Cindy Eilbacher, Paul Burke and TV-movie regular Loyd Bochner are also very good in their roles. I particularly enjoyed John Carradine as the handyman.

Crowhaven Farm has the distinction of being one of those made-for-television films that stay with you long after you've seen it. Like Duel and Dark Night Of The Scarecrow, Farm represents what can be achieved with a little budget and a whole lot of imagination. I highly recommend this film, if you can find it. As of yet, the film has never been released to video.
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When will this movie be released on DVD?
Christi C7 January 2006
I too saw this movie when I was very very young. I remember it scared the heck out of me! The most memorable thing for me was the door being placed on her and the stones on top of that door. I would love to see it released on DVD. Or even on TV again. I remember feeling the terror Hope Lange's character felt trying to get people to listen to her. Lets face it John Carradine is a classic classic actor. Right up there with Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price. Would love to see this movie released on DVD or shown on TV as they show some of the old HAMMER movies. (Frankenstein/Dracula Movies)These movies they make now may have great special effects and graphics but some of them are so gruesome it makes me ill. I prefer the older movies from when I was younger where your imagination works harder just seems more frightening that way. Does anyone else agree? I guess you would have to be closer to my age to understand what I am trying to say.
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Effectively creepy
Brian W. Fairbanks4 December 2003
Someday, someone should write a book examining why TV movies of the late 60s and early 70s were often preoccupied with witchcraft and horror at a time when the cinema shied away from the subjects, except for B movies and the rare blockbuster ala "Rosemary's Baby." Even some of the sillier ones ("Satan's School for Girls" anyone?) worked up some genuine chills. But "Crowhaven Farm" has to be the best. From the opening scenes right through the surprising (and terrifying) climax, this little thriller puts "The Exorcist" and other, later, big-budget chillers to shame. It may have been the TV movie's lack of pretentiousness that worked to its advantage. Made quickly and economically, "Crowhaven Farm" had no time for high-fallutin' symbolic nonsense. It did what it set out to do - inspire nightmares - and did it very well.
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WOW i thought i was the only one!
catmacabre13 August 2001
I saw this movie as a child...i have always had a thing for witches..and there were many witchcraft related movies in the late 1960s /early 70s...i can not BELIEVE there are others who remember/ love this movie as i do! What i wouldnt do..for a VHS copy of the movie. That little girl was so beautiful and EERIE! Her eyes had that fairie-ish pale blue color...she was like a living (but evil) doll!I love that scene where "Maggie" runs into the night to hear voices on the can truly feel the spirit of ancient folk this dark and highly atmospheric movie! Anyone got a copy?
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Extremely scary TV movie
tamstrat14 April 2005
As with several other people here, I watched this movie as a child, and it stuck with me all these years. Very scary scenes of witchcraft, torture, crying in the woods, etc. Hope Lange was a very pretty, effective actress and the story of this movie was very original. I was able to get a copy of this off of Ebay, I hadn't seen it in literally 30 years, and was still scared when it was over. The ending was a total shocker too. I wish that they made movies for TV like this now, unfortunately all we have on TV anymore are reality shows, who needs reality when we could have fun movies like this? I think that whoever wrote this movie really had the pulse for what scared little kids in the late 60's and early 70's. Lots of fun and if you can get a copy of it on Ebay I highly recommend it.
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Sinister little tale of witchcraft
The_Void5 January 2007
There was some good stuff made for television during the seventies, and while Crowhaven Farm doesn't stand tall as one of the best horror films ever made, it's a very decent one that is certainly worth seeing. The plot doesn't really offer anything new, and simply follows the idea of a coven of witches, centred around the sinister Crowhaven Farm. The plot focuses on Ben and Maggie Porter, a couple that inherit the farm after the death of her father. Their marriage is tainted by the fact that Maggie cannot bear children, and the couple move to the farm in the hope that the change of scenery will help to pick up their relationship. Under the direction of experienced TV director Walter Grauman, a good cast gives way to a thoroughly interesting tale of witchcraft. Grauman does well with the atmosphere, and while most of the film is build up for the ending; things such as the haunting music score and numerous plot revelations ensure that the film never dries up. Of course, all this build up needs a good climax, and the film gets just that with an ending that definitely justifies getting there. Overall, this is obviously a little thin and it won't be winning any 'greatest horror film ever' awards...but it's good stuff and comes recommended.
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"Do you believe people can live more than one life?"
moonspinner5527 February 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Hope Lange and Paul Burke portray a couple from the east village who inherit a rural manor from a relative on Lange's side; she's immediately disturbed by the place and wants to get away. There's such cruel trickery at work when Hope decides to escape Crowhaven Farm once and for all and gets her best friend to help her out. Up to this point, her friend has been the kind of movie buddy we all love, but soon poor Hope realizes they are driving in the wrong direction. Sitting in the passenger seat, she turns to look at her friend behind the wheel and--BOOM! The woman is really one of them...a 17th century witch, one of several seeking revenge against Lange for committing a betrayal in a past life. Silly and scary TV-movie with effective passages, but with a limited budget resulting in a visually dull production. The narrative is rushed along for the sake of time, and is burdened by heavy echoes of "Rosemary's Baby" besides. Pretty gripping nevertheless, and the cast is very fine.
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"Crowhaven Farm" Sometimes words are worth a thousand pictures.
d12245818 September 2005
I saw this made-for-TV movie when it first aired back in the early 70's. I thought it was a very effective supernatural flick at the time. I had the opportunity to hear this movie a couple of years later on the radio while working at a dude ranch in the mountains of Colorado between Durango and Silverton. The radio selections were slim at 8500 feet, but one station carried the audio's of television movies, usually creepy or scary ones. Even though I had seen this film already, I can tell you the hair on my arms and at the back of my neck stood straight up while listening to the dialog and creepy background music. I can definitively say it was scarier than watching it. If anyone gets a chance to watch this one, or better yet, listen to it from the next room, you won't be disappointed.
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great television movie - anyone have it on tape?
hepplewhite212-dm0217 March 2004
I agree with everyone below who remembers this movie from their childhood as being very scary. There are a couple of vivid images - and story lines - that have stayed with me these 30-odd years. I've sometimes wondered if this is where Sting got the idea for the darker connotations of the song title "I'll Be Watching You"! Whew. The whole Salem thing; the whole story line in Salem; and the whole story line in the present, and how they inter-link. The resolution still chills me, even as I write this. Hope Lange of course is great in it; her husband and the girl on the road. Chilling performances. DOES ANYONE HAVE THIS ON TAPE / KNOW HOW TO GET IT ON TAPE?
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They Sure Don't Make 'em Like This Anymore!
atomic_age572 May 2007
While Crowhaven Farm was not the BEST made-for-TV chiller of its era, it does rank up there with the dozen or so that tend to stand out in the minds of baby boomers raised during TV's golden age. Forget the special effects that seem so essential to the success of today's horror movies; this one forces you to rely strictly on your imagination (remember that thing in your head???) to understand its premise. This movie was made in 1970, during the final season of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", and, like several typecast actresses of the period, Hope Lange attempted to "break away" from her sitcom character much like Elizabeth Montgomery did in "The Victim" (remember THAT one???) and did it quite effectively. Crowhaven Farm is simply chilling, with the grainy film grade and squealing violins in the soundtrack adding to the unsettling feel of the film. This genre of film will probably never see a comeback, due to the all the computer-technology wars in horror films made today, but at least we'll always have them to look back on. EIGHT STARS.
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funyy you should say that...
amberapple-122 March 2008
I AM writing a book on that very subject! The Celluloid Bough: Cinema in the Wake of the Occult Revival.

I agree, this is a wonderful film, it certainly gave me nightmares as a kid. I am not sure it holds up as well as I'd hoped it would. But the basic conceit is fascinating and if anyone decided to do a remake it would probably be just as scary.

I think one aspect of the story that is very intriguing is not just the idea of reincarnation/past lives, but the idea that a young girl could seduce Hope Lange's husband and manipulate him into believing his wife is delusional..
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I would buy this title if it were released on DVD.
samonet_az1 August 2007
I echo the other reviewer who said she saw this movie when she was very young. I, too, found it to be the scariest thing my young eyes had seen. The movie made a definite impression on me. To this day I can't hear harpsichord music without a chill going up and down my spine. I dare say this movie may have been the first exposure to the horror genre for many of the post-boomer generation, and for this reason it may be something of a pivotal, if unheralded, movie phenomenon for we 35-45 year-olds. Then again, it may be just my own experience talking. I would like to see it as an adult - just to see if it was really "all that," or to see if my mature perspective sheds a less flattering light on it.
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Absolutely Terrifying!
joanneross28 September 2000
I saw this movie when it first aired. I was 10 years old and absolutely terrified and thrilled. For weeks following the movie I could not sleep with covers on. A classic which should be included in all thriller fests!
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The Door Scene
missywatts1 December 2006
I asked my husband several weeks ago about this movie. I told him I knew I watched it while I was younger (I'm 43 now) and all I could remember was a scene where they took this woman out on a beautiful day and put a heavy door on her and put big heavy rocks on top of her. It scared me to death, but that is the only scene either of us could remember, but we both remember being terrified of it. I would love to see it again. We had to ask his sister who is sort of a movie buff about it. Again, the only part she knew and remembered was that door scene. To me it reminds me of the clown in the Stephen King movie "It." I can close my eyes and see that clown in the drainage ditch. I don't remember most of the movie, but that scene summoned it all up for me.
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Crow haven farm- at last I can comment
cyclescar2 December 2005
i watched this film as a 14 year old in in 1985, it scared me to death I have never forgotten it and feel I need to watch it again as an (old) adult to exorcise it!!!!! I need to write some more for my comment to be accepted. so I need to tell you that I am now 44 but I have never forgotten this film that scared me to death when I was a teenager i year after the death of my father an supposedly the man of the household. I watched it with my younger sister who I hope was no effected in the way that I was. If she was she never mentioned it maybe I was just a wimpy scared kid. Either way, I still remember this film some 30 years later!
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One of the greatest witch movies ever made.
Phill-131 April 2001
Crowhaven Farm is one of the greatest witch movies ever made. It's up there with "Horror Hotel" (1960) (original British title "The City Of The Dead"). Both films explore the possibility that executed witches come back in contemporary times to wreak vengeance upon the descendants of those who executed them in 1692. Hope Lange is great as the reincarnated Meg Carey, trying desperately to escape the witches wrath as she and her husband (magnificently played by Paul Burke) try to have a baby. After she spends a night at the apartment of a friend (played by the usually devious Lloyd Bochner) she does, indeed, become pregnant. Burke, suspecting infidelity, (which did not happen, by the way) goes after Bochner with the usual jealous intent, all against a backdrop of witchcraft. What does young Jennifer Lewis, a spoiled, bratty, ten-year-old (played to the hilt by Cindy Eilbacher) and her aunt, Mercy Lewis (played by Virginia Gregg, a severely underrated actress of immense talent), and Felicia, played by the great Patricia Barry, all have to do with the witches? Viewers will be sitting on the edge of their seats right up to the exciting climax to find out.
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Not What I Expected, but still entertaining
WTFCinema14 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Maggie Porter (Hope Lange) inherits some property from distant relatives, causing her and her Husband, Ben, to pack up their lives and move into the isolated farm. Immediately upon arrival, Maggie can't shake the feeling that she's been there before. She knows where the secret doors are hidden and even begins recalling past-life memories. Turns out.. Not only is the land haunted, but a coven of witches have something planned for one of them. If that wasn't bad enough… Add a creepy little orphan, pacts with the devil, And John Carradine.. being creepy as usual…And you got yourselves a story for a creepy, unknown, made-for-TV movie.

The acting was surprisingly well-done… Especially for a made-for-TV movie. I can't really vouch for Carradine's performance, because EVERY SINGLE FILM I've seen him in… He plays the same creepy man. I consider Hope Lange and Paul Burke performances to be slightly above average… But in all honesty.. They could have been Oscar-Worthy and nobody would have known. Just about everyone was out-shined by Cindy Eilbacher, who played the Creepy-As-Hell Bipolar Orphan Girl.

At first I was kind of disappointed that this was not the typical haunted house flick. I was in the mood for some atmospheric horror film that didn't rely on CGI or jump scares. Most of the 'scares' are off screen. If you don't have much imagination… Or hate pacing that wasn't developed for the ADHD Generation… You will be disappointed. And for God sakes… When will people learn to NEVER BUY A HOUSE IF JOHN CARRADINE IS INVOLVED!
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Stayed with me for years
aguablancaranch3 April 2008
I saw this movie when I was a kid and I never forgot about it! I have looked for it for years in stores, online, etc. I have never even met anyone who had heard of it until I got here and had a brainstorm. This movie was so well done, no special effects really, but like the other comments, the scene with the door and the rocks and that evil, evil teenage girl stayed with me for 30 years! This movie is a classic.

I also remember vividly, the policeman in the park at the end of the movie who looked like Hope's husband. I think back now and I realize it was a perfect set up for a sequel-in the days when there were no sequels!

I'm so glad other people have good memories of the horror films of the 60's, 70's. I sure enjoyed them
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song_dance9915 May 2000
I saw this movie when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I honestly don't remember much about it except that it scared me so badly that I had nightmares about it for years!!! I would love to see it again. I wonder if it is really as frightening as I remember.
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it will scare you to the bone...
mark6624 April 1999
this is definitely one of the most intriguing movies i've ever seen so far..a low budget masterpiece i would like to see on vhs someday..forget the various amityville horrors or trash like that..this movie along with ''Trilogy of terror''is absolutely the top notch production of the '70's...not recommended to children...Director Walter Grauman is a man that really knows his stuff...As i said before..i hope somebody will release this movie on VHS someday..
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I know why you'll never see this movie again
wmav0114 January 2006
To begin with, I'm just like everyone else who has posted a comment here. I remember seeing this movie as a kid (In 1970 I was 12), and it did scare the crap out of me too. Fast forward 20 years and I took a film class while in college (career change). A young girl in my class did this whole presentation for an assignment on inappropriate relationship in films. She was a flake, and went on about inappropriate scenes involving adult males and underage females. Perfectly innocent scenes to most people, but offensive to her. One other example I remember was the scene in "Little Miss Marker" where the kid invites him (Walter Matthau) to sleep with her. But one of the film clips she presented was from Crowhaven Farm. God knows how or where she got it, but it's the scene with Cindy Elibacher and Paul Burke in bed together. As I remember, Cindy Elibacher was being seductive in a childish way. I don't remember enough of the movie as to why they were in bed together, but it did appear that Cindy Elibacher's character was behaving seductively for some reason in the story line. At this point in time we are in the midst of a hysteria, whereby a scene like this on prime time TV would be construed as veiled child porn. I know you'll never see this movie on DVD. Comments?
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the mere thought of this film still scares me
jenjacobs10 February 2001
i saw crowhaven farm only once and have not had the opportunity to see it since.this was 30 years ago when i was 9 years old. there are scenes in the movie that have stayed with me over the years. remarkable film.i would like to see it again but have not been able to get my hands on it as yet.
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Hard To Understand
Jeff Marzano30 April 2006
This movie is based on witchcraft and satanism I guess but it presents it in a way that is hard to understand at times.

Somehow the main character betrayed the other witches although I'm not exactly sure how and it's not clear that she herself really was a witch. In fact she says she doesn't want to get involved with any 'traffic' involving the evil one but then she changes her mind.

But what they fail to mention is that she makes those decisions while being tortured.

Also some people get killed but I thought they were also part of the conspiracy against this lady. I guess they got double crossed also.

There's also a cute little girl who is main villain which doesn't really work too well at times. I just can't picture this kid forcing people to sell their souls.

Still it is thought provoking as far as making people think about good and evil, reincarnation, making a pact with the devil, etc..

It is true that those satanic creatures exist in another dimension. They can cause people to see and experience things that other people aren't aware of.

Yes it is possible to sell your soul and do other things involving satanism. This activity has implications across future and even past lifetimes since it exists outside of time. There is no time in that other dimension.

Jeff Marzano

Recommended further viewing:

Brides Of Blood / Beast Of Blood Horror Hotel IT ! (The Terror FromBeyond Space) Invasion Of The Saucer Men Not Of This Earth (original) Phantasm The Blob (with Steve McQueen) The Brain That Wouldn't Die The Flesh Eaters The Fly / The Return Of The Fly / The Curse Of The Fly The Four Skulls Of Jonathan Drake The Hideous Sun Demon The Hypnotic Eye The Incredible Shrinking Man The Indestructible Man The Manster The Thing (from another world) The Thing That Couldn't Die The Twilight Zone Collections
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Still Holds Up!
derekjager18 March 2003
I was able to get a copy of this and I'm happy to say that it still holds up, 30+ years later!

I only wish Hope Lange had been a little more "upbeat" early on in the film--she comes across as a little spaced out from the getgo, so when she sees and hears odd things, it's not so surprising since she's ALREADY a bit "off."

But it all has a wonderful build up, makes "sense" (sometimes a challenge for horror films!) and has a nasty little "kicker" at the end that brings it all full circle.

Highly recommended!
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Surprisingly above-average 70's MFTV witchcraft film
Rachael-526 May 2000
I was quite young when I first saw the film, which I have seen a total of about 4 to 5 times. Hope Lange has always played a great suffering character, and she's in one of her best examples of that here. Really the one thing about the film that has always stuck with me, right to this day, was how terrifying the "stoning" scene was at the end of the movie. I felt each stone placed on top of her, and with each stone I could feel the breath forced out of my lungs. The absolute mastery of the film was in its ability to manipulate the viewer to experience how painful it is to foreshadow disaster and be unable to get someone, anyone to believe you.
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