After the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, a music professor staying at an old mansion is dragged into a decades-old mystery by an inexplicable presence in the mansion's attic.

Director:

Peter Medak

Writers:

Russell Hunter (story by), William Gray (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... John Russell
Trish Van Devere ... Claire Norman
Melvyn Douglas ... Senator Carmichael
Jean Marsh ... Joanna Russell
John Colicos ... Captain DeWitt
Barry Morse ... Parapsychologist
Madeleine Sherwood ... Mrs. Norman (as Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood)
Helen Burns ... Leah Harmon
Frances Hyland ... Mrs. Grey
Ruth Springford ... Minnie Huxley
Eric Christmas ... Albert Harmon
Roberta Maxwell ... Eva Lingstrom
Bernard Behrens ... Robert Lingstrom
James B. Douglas James B. Douglas ... Eugene Carmichael
J. Kenneth Campbell ... Security Guard
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Storyline

It was the perfect family vacation for composer John Russell and his family when a freak automobile accident claims the lives of his wife and daughter. Consumed by grief, John, at the request of friends, rents an old turn of the century house. Mammoth in size, the house seems all the room that John needs to write music and reflect. He does not realize that he is not alone in the house. He shares it with the spirit of a child who has homed in on John's despair and uses him to uncover decades of silence and deceit. With the help of Claire Norman, the one who aided John in procuring the house, they race to find the answers and soon learn that a devious and very powerful man guards them. Written by Vampire-Sharpshooter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two people live in this house. One of them has been dead for 70 years. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Cammell was initially slated to direct this film, but eventually left due to creative differences with the producers. See more »

Goofs

The position of John's hands in the scene where he's talking to the Lingstroms is inconsistent. See more »

Quotes

Joseph Carmichael: [On the Seance Tape] Father. Father. The well. Ranch. Sacred Heart. My Medal. Father. Father. Don't! Help.
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Alternate Versions

The Japanese theatrical version contains the alternative ending theme, titled "Pike", sung by Makigami Koichi, a pseudo-kabuki vocalist who led the rock band called "HIKASHU", replacing the original "Music Box" theme song conducted by Howard Blake. The local Japanese TV (dubbed) version also contains the similar "Pike" theme from "HIKASHU", but while the original theatrical version was in Japanese as supposed to be, the song in the TV version was remarkably sung in English. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kokkuri (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo in A minor for Piano, K. 511
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Played by Jan Latham-Koenig
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User Reviews

First-Rate Haunted Horror
10 November 2001 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

George C. Scott loses his wife and daughter in a car accident, moves to Seattle, and rents a gigantic old mansion with a haunted secret past. This film is skillfully directed by Peter Medak who gets more that even he probably bargained from a solid cast of actors, a wonderful script, and one great-looking eerie old house. Medak creates tons of suspense with the barest sight of blood. This film reeks atmosphere. The house reeks atmosphere. Scott's performance and that of veteran Melvyn Douglass reek atmosphere. Doors creak, balls mysteriously bounce, water runs, windows break in the old house trying to tell Scott about the secret of a young child that once lived there. The script is fanciful yet well-written and very creative. Scott gives an atypically subdued performance that suggests passion, heartbreak, and tenacity. The rest of the performers are very good too. I cannot remember the last time Mr. Douglass gave a poor performance. Some of the scenes that really stand out in my mind are flashback sequences showing the terrible secret that has been hidden in the house for over 70 years. Medak doesn't have a huge budget to work with here, but this movie beats out newer haunted house films like the remake of The Haunting by leaps and bounds. This is one classy scare film!


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

House on Chessman Park See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD7,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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