Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let's Scare Jessica to Death [film - 1971]

This is an excellent movie I've managed to catch a couple of times on late-night or Sunday-afternoon TV. I'm generally not a movie fan and don't collect many of them; but this film is a stand-out and it is Gothic. I'm going to order a copy. It's been a while since I've seen LSJtD, so I'll defer to this man's fine review from IMDb [The Internet Movie Database]:




+++
Dreams or nightmares, madness or sanity...it's amazing. Author: Vince-5 from northeastern PA:

Unjustly neglected, Let's Scare Jessica to Death ranks with The Haunting (1963) as a classic of understated horror. Everything about it is brilliantly eerie--from the tombstone etchings to the hostile townsfolk to the whispering voices in Jessica's head. From beginning to end, there is a distinct impression that beneath this picturesque rural setting something is very wrong...and this sense builds slowly and lyrically, leading up to a breathtaking shock-twist climax. And still, as in The Haunting, we're left with the question, "Was it real?"

Benefiting from a well-utilized low budget and beautiful color photography, this is one of the most subtly scary motion pictures you'll ever find. The characters are well-rounded and brought to life by a team of talented character actors. Zohra Lampert positively glows as the sweet, delicate Jessica; she is superbly expressive and keeps you firmly at her side all the way. Her performance should be studied as a casebook example of how to play a fragile, sympathetic character. And this rich, highly imaginative Gothic chiller is essential viewing for fans of intelligent terror.+++

This film includes Jessica's tombstone-rubbing "hobby," which was the first time I'd seen or known of it. If you get the chance and haven't already, rent and watch it.

Image obtained from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067341/

2 comments:

Karswell said...

Very very excellent movie. I don't know it's unjustly neglected though as I remember it playing on late night television constantly as a kid / teen throughout the late 70s and well into the 80s, and everyone in school was always talking about it. But you're probably right, it's likely a bit neglected these days... but only by a younger generation that probably doesn't watch movies made before 1985 anyway. Their loss.

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