Saturday, December 28, 2013

Black Christmas

"Black Christmas" (1974) starring Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon and Andrea Martin is a classic Canadian slasher that is low on the gore but high on the suspense.

It's Christmastime and the women of a college sorority house are getting ready for the holiday.  A few are remaining at the house while most go back home to family members.  Someone keeps calling the house and screams, talks in weird voices and generally scares the women.  There is also some unseen killer that has infiltrated the house, up the trellis and into the attic.  

This is a fun horror movie and a perfect example of the early horror slasher film that doesn't have to show every gruesome detail of the deaths to make it scary.  The characters, especially the beautiful Jess (Hussey), hilariously outrageous Barb (Kidder) and campy fun house mother, Mrs. Mac (Marian Waldman) make this a film that you can watch over and over.  It is filled with a sense of dread and suspense that will keep you guessing right up to the end.  

"Black Christmas" is a must see for horror fans, especially around Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas from A Haunting on the Screen!

Merry Christmas from A Haunting on the Screen!!

 'Twas the night before Christmas...

and all through the house...

not a creature was stirring...

except for a murderous wife

and a psychotic Santa!

Joan Collins gets her just desserts in this classic holiday horror story from "Tales from the Crypt".

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Lost Moment

"The Lost Moment" (1947) starring: , , is a Gothic romance that takes place in the 19th century.

The film is based on Henry James' story "The Aspern Papers".  American publisher Lewis Venable wants to publish a famous poet's love letters to his love Juliana Borderau.  Juliana is now 105 years old and living in a big old mansion along the canals of Venice.  The family doesn't want to part with the letters but Lewis is on a quest to get them and tricks the Borderaus into leasing a room to him (under an assumed name) so he can write a book.  The Borderaus household is now mostly run by the niece Tina Borderau who takes care of her ailing aunt and doesn't want guests.  The Borderaus are struggling financially though and need the money to keep the house.

The house is dark and brooding.  Lewis meets the aged aunt (an unrecognizable Agnes Moorehead) who even sells him family artifacts but won't let him see the letters.  Late at night, Lewis hears piano playing in the other side of the house.  He follows it and finds the usually cold and severe looking niece Tina, in a flowing dress and set of rooms that used to belong to the aunt when she was young.  It turns out unbeknownst to Tina, she is re-living her aunt's earlier life and romance with Aspern.

Will Lewis follow through with getting the letters no matter what or will he be won over by the inhabitants of this house that is haunted by the past and can't seem to move forward? 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Crooked House

"Crooked House" (2008) is a British made for TV miniseries that was shown in three episodes.  It is a trio of ghost stories centered around the same cursed house called Geap Manor, starring Lee Ingleby, Mark Gatiss and Derren Brown.

The first story is called "The Wainscoting" about an 18th century greedy rich man who makes a fortune on the backs of the local working folk and has purchased, renovated and moved into Geap Manor, the local "haunted house".  He soon gets more than he bargained for when the house's walls start to haunt him.

"Something Old" is the second story that takes place in Geap Manor in the 1920s.  A lavish costume party is taking place and the owner's grandson announces his engagement to a local woman.  The grandmother is not pleased because there is some secret from her past that is haunting the halls of the house and will soon affect her grandson.

"The Knocker" is the final story which takes place in the present with Ben, the main character who found Geap Manor's door knocker in his suburban home that sits on the site of the old Manor.  In addition to finding out more about Geap Manor, he discovers a doorway into the past where he sees what created the evil that continues to surround the house and the land it sits upon.

You can find these all together as one movie and it is a fantastic series of haunted house and ghost stories to keep you more than sufficiently scared!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Possessed

"The Possessed" (1977) is a made for TV horror movie starring James Farentino, Claudette Nevins, Eugene Roche and Harrison Ford about demonic possession at an girls' school.

Sisters Ellen Sumner (Nevins) and Louise Gelson (Hackett) run Helen Page School for Girls in Salem. Graduation is nearing and things take a turn toward the bizarre.  Papers spontaneously combust in Ellen's hand.  Her daughter's dorm room inexplicably catches fire and the doors won't open from the inside so she and her roommate can get out.  One of the student's robe catches fire and she is sent to the hospital with third degree burns.

Louise fears her school will be ruined.  Ellen does some research and finds a defrocked Catholic minister, Kevin Leahy (Farentino) who arrives and believes there is a demonic possession.  He interviews students and teachers, including a very young Harrison Ford as Paul Winjam the hunky biology teacher.  Can he stop the possession before anyone else is hurt?

This film does a nice job of not revealing who is possessed until near the end of the film.  It keeps you guessing throughout.  It's a fun, old fashioned TV horror movie that you just don't see any more.