Linda Blair stars as a sorority pledge who, along with three others (Van Patten, Barton and Goodwin) must spend the night in Garth Manor, an old abandoned house, as a part of her initiation. According to legend, the house's former owner killed his wife and three children there years before, though one of the children (who was said to be horribly deformed) is rumored to have survived and may still be lurking in the labyrinth of tunnels below the house. After Blair and the others start finding the mutilated bodies of their classmates on the grounds of Garth Manor, they begin to wonder if the legend is true. Blair turns in a surprisingly effective performance as a teenager from a working-class background who feels a little out of place among her well-heeled counterparts. She manages to make her character seem almost three-dimensional, which is rare indeed for a slasher flick. It's a shame that Blair didn't get more screen time. The film has some real pacing problems: after a great setup in the first 15 minutes, the film really lags, making the middle third tough going at times. But the intense final minutes of the film feature some terrific scares, and are definitely worth waiting for.
Two and a half stars out of five.