49 user 44 critic

The Silent Scream (1979)

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 its secretive tenants.


Denny Harris




Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Balding ... Scotty Parker
Cameron Mitchell ... Lt. Sandy McGiver
Avery Schreiber ... Sgt. Manny Ruggin
Barbara Steele ... Victoria Engels
Steve Doubet ... Jack Towne
Brad Rearden ... Mason Engels
John Widelock John Widelock ... Peter Ransom
Jack Stryker Jack Stryker ... Police Chief
Thelma Pelish ... Housing Lady
Tina Tyler ... Victoria at 16
Yvonne De Carlo ... Mrs. Engels
Juli Andelman ... Doris Prichart
Annabella Price Annabella Price ... TV Rape Victim
Joe Pronto Joe Pronto ... TV Rapist
Jason Zahler Jason Zahler ... Mason at 3


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


Quick! Scream! Too late! You're dead See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Rebecca Balding also starred in the 1981 horror flick The Boogens with Anne Marie Martin (Prom Night; Halloween II) and was directed by her real life husband. See more »


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


References Jaws (1975) See more »


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

User Reviews

Nicely done mystery with slasher styled murders.
7 August 2013 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

A better than average cast helps to make this horror film a decent watch, along with a reasonably good script (written by brothers Jim & Ken Wheat and Wallace C. Bennett) that has some memorable twists. It's graphically bloody at times but also has fine atmosphere, and a healthy nod to "Psycho" in its use of an imposing beach side house.

College student Scotty (Rebecca Balding) is in desperate need of a place to live and ends up at this house, owned by a weird family, the Engels. Unfortunately, Scotty and her fellow roommates won't know just *how* creepy this family is until it's almost too late. When one of the kids is murdered, a subplot develops with two detectives (Cameron Mitchell, Avery Schreiber) investigating the case.

The cute Balding is an appealing lead in this story, given effective theatrical treatment by commercial veteran Denny Harris (in his only feature credit). Helping a great deal is a grandiose music score by the under-rated Roger Kellaway, who also composes a period style song for the show. There is some good suspense and many ominous shots of the house and its interiors. The shocks are well realized, as well.

Yvonne De Carlo is also among the familiar faces appearing. Mitchell and an effectively serious Schreiber are fine as the detectives. In addition to Balding, Steve Doubet and Juli Andelman are similarly likable. Brad Rearden is great in the role of the nerdy Mason Engels, the films' one true tragic character. And horror genre icon Barbara Steele is a treat to watch in a non-speaking role.

Lovers of the horror films from this period should find a fair deal to enjoy here. "The Silent Scream" is enjoyable stuff that deserves a viewing from them.

Seven out of 10.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 49 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

18 January 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Silent Scream See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Denny Harris See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed