(Review originally written at 8 August 2008)

It's not a movie with a great or original story (which horror movie does anyway?) or approach but this is simply one fine and effective genre movie, with a fine premise, good settings and some wonderful genre moments.

Amazing thing is that director Bob Clark started his career with movies like this but soon continued on making movies such as "Porky's" and "Baby Geniuses", which is obviously a totally different genre. A waste of his talent? Well, in all honesty horror movies from the '70's are definitely better ones than the ones from the '80's of '90's, so I'm not too sure about it actually if Clark would had continued to direct horror movies during his later career those movies would had been as good as this one, mostly in terms of style.

'70's movies of course have a very distinctive style and atmosphere. Some of the best and most classic horror movies also date back from the '70's. Movies such as "The Exorcist", "The Omen", "Don't Look Now", "Halloween" oh and I can just go on and on. This movie wasn't the first slasher and it also wasn't the most influential or best known one (credit for that still mostly goes to John Carpenter's "Halloween") but it's nevertheless obvious that this movie inspired later film-makers and is a fine example of the genre from the '70's.

It's a really effective horror movie, that features all of the right required ingredients. It doesn't make this the most original genre movie with its style or approach but it's simply one fine executed one. The movie has a good dark and mysterious atmosphere and it also really knows to be scary in parts. Especially the phone calls within the movie, which play a key part, are really scary. I don't know what it is but phone calls are always scary and effective material for horror movies. Just think about movies such as "Scream", "When a Stranger Calls" or "Sorry, Wrong Number".

What also helps the movie is its atmospheric musical score from Carl Zittrer, who used to work a lot with Bob Clark during his career.

The movie also really has a great cast with actors you wouldn't necessarily normally expect in a genre movie such as this one. Margot Kidder is really great in this movie, in a fairly early role from her. The movie also stars Keir Dullea, who unfortunately doesn't ever star in that many movies.

A great movie for the fans of the genre, as well as to everyone else for all that matter.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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