Brr, shiver--and I don't mean from the cold.
It's almost Halloween, that scariest time of year, and the chills are running down my spine. All around me are signs that Trick or Treat is upon us. The stores are filled with candy and costumes, their aisles covered with gossamer cobwebs, and in my local Wal-Mart there's a pretty scary guy in overalls perched on a tractor, looming right by the check-out counters. He's stuffed, not real, but he does make me pull up short every time I see him. As another sign of the season the grocery aisles are chockablock with fall gourds and piles of pumpkins, both orange and...white? Who knew? My sister-in-law tells me there are blue ones, too, though I haven't seen any. I like my pumpkins the traditional way.
Movies too, I guess.
"Psycho" is probably the most memorable horror film from my past (remember, "Norman? Norman!"), but has anyone here watched "See No Evil?"
The movie has two titles, actually, one for the U.S. market and another for the U.K., but unfortunately I don't recall its other, British name. In either case, like "Rosemary's Baby," it stars a young Mia Farrow, who in this one looks appropriately delicate and vulnerable, the latter in part because (like Audrey Hepburn in "Home Before Dark") she is totally blind.
A quick plot recap: While staying with relatives on their vast British estate, Mia comes home one afternoon--and instantly feels that something is terribly wrong in the house. It's not just the eerie silence. Because of her blindness (recent, if I remember right) her other senses have become more acute, and with growing horror she gropes her way through room after room of the manor house, only to find that everyone in the family is dead. Murdered. Why? She doesn't know. The viewer can see the carnage, but of course Mia cannot.
And she isn't alone in the house. The killer is still there. She can hear him.
On the other hand, he doesn't realize she's blind, and although she escapes (temporarily) he's now after her--the only "witness" to his crimes.
The viewer, like Mia (sorry, I've forgotten her character's name), doesn't see this part, but throughout the film the villain walks around in classic British hunt boots, stomp, stomp, stomp as he tracks, and terrorizes, our heroine. Yet he is photographed only from the knees down. We never see his face.
Is there anyone Mia can turn to? And trust?
Well, a nice romance might help to break the tension, and it does. But it also heightens the fear in both Mia and the audience. Our hero also wears hunt boots! Is he really falling in love with her, protective of her? Or is he the actual killer?
That's a simplified version of the story, but I guarantee it's frightening from beginning to end.
And, in part, glamorous. I like my horror movies to also look good. For some reason a beautiful setting (a fantasy) seems to intensify the conflict, e.g., the everyday, presumably safe environment of this country estate against the heroine's increasing fears for her life. There's also some exciting footage with the horses from the hero's stable, which play a role at the crisis point of the film.
If you can, get a copy of "See No Evil." I highly recommend it.
It'll scare the pants off you. Right on time for Halloween.