The wonderful George C.Scott plays a troubled musician, John Russell whose tragic past has made him crave solitude. He rents a beautiful but remotely located house that is hiding a terrible secret that calls out to him, begging him to help, to unearth a terrible sin committed by its previous owner.
What is causing the hollow banging noise that John hears nearly every night and why does a small wheelchair creak its way across the attic and the glimpse of a child that cannot exist haunt his dreams?
Forced by nightmares and a compulsion that he cannot ignore John starts to dredge up the past but in doing so he is taking on a powerful man, a man whose very childhood is built on lies, lies that he cannot afford to be exposed because if they are, a horrific crime will be exposed and his world of privilege and wealth will come tumbling around his ears.
A truly frightening masterpiece with a haunting musical score and all round good acting from the talented cast which includes Barry Morse and Jean Marsh.
The music, set design, script and acting are all on top form however the cinematography is what makes this film stand out. Nowhere since Rosemary's Baby has a house looked so creepy and yet still remained homely at the same time. What is upstairs in this house is the kind of the place that you would never want to visit with a group, yet Scott goes up there by himself alone. Most other films of this type do silly things like putting people in haunted places when obviously they would run away in two second flat but Scott is a BIG MAN and looks tough. He could probably walk down any alley in the world unscathed. So Scott is free to roam his house and live there on his own. The audience does not disbelieve it for one second and this is why the film manages to transcend many for its type. It is that kind of eye of direction and storytelling that makes Peter Medak's little haunted house tale really shine.
This film has it down-pat in atmosphere and haunting ambiance. It does scare. Just make sure that you turn off the lights and watch this one late for full impact. Watching this one during the day almost had me walking around the house looking behind doors and jumping a mile into the air when frozen icicles broke off the roof and landed on my windowsill.
The premise is good - John Russell (Scott) a music professor and composer, loses his wife and family in a terrible accident.Read more ›