Monday, May 23, 2011

The Silent Scream (1980)

Growing up during the slasher craze of the 1980s, I always enjoy watching any movie from the era. Any time that I can find something that I have not seen is even better. One such flick is 1980s the Alfred Hitchcock influenced The Silent Scream starring Cameron Mitchell and Barbara Steele.

Plot/ Scotty moves into Mrs. Engels' seaside mansion where three other college students are boarding. Mrs. Engels prefers to stay in her room in the attic, but her son Mason helps the students get settled. Soon one of the students is killed. The policemen on the case begin uncovering the Engels family secret as the remaining students become endangered.

This was definitely more me, than Kick Ass. This early 1980s entry is an underrated flick that relies more on creepy atmosphere than gore, and delivers. The performances are solid (especially Barbara Steele who may steal the show with silence), the plot is sound, and the soundtrack and cinematography create a truly heavy and uneasy feeling throughout. All is not perfect, some characterization is off and the pacing maybe a little slow, really nothing major. In fact, in my opinion the pacing is a key to building tension. All-in-all, this early slasher, while not original (a modernized Psycho?), is one of the better entries in the genre and a definite must see for fans of atmospheric flicks and Hitchcock.

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