Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Horror Of...Scream of Fear, In Short

Now for something a bit more classic. When people bring up Hammer Horror, people often jump to mental images of bright red blood and lots of cleavage. But Hammer did have other horror to share. And among those movies is...

Scream of Fear

This 1961 movie stars...

Susan Strasberg as Penny Appleby. She's the paralyzed daughter of a wealthy man, who she has been estranged from since childhood.

Christopher Lee (This is a Hammer Horror movie.) plays Dr. Pierre Gerrard. He's the physician of Penny's father, and a confidante to her stepmom.

And as her stepmom, Jane Appleby, we have Ann Todd.

The family chauffeur, Robert, is played by Ronald Lewis.

And then there is her father, played by Fred Johnson. Though is he really there?

The movie opens on a sad scene. The recovery of a young woman from a lake.

Following this death, we find Susan traveling to her father's home. They've long been estranged, but now he's asked her to come to his home and reconcile with him. It has been a long time in coming. And she is uncertain. Also she is still dealing with the death. The dead girl was her lifelong companion and friend who met had a tragic accident.

We quickly see she is in a wheelchair, and learn that she's been in it her whole life. She is nervous to be here, she is in a place alien to her now. Also, she knows that her father has a new wife, and wonders what she will be like. But even her father is a stranger to her after so long.

She is met at the airport by Robert the chauffeur who is friendly to her, but he also has little information on what the family has been up to. She has no idea what fate awaits her.

And as they drive we see they follow step cliffs, so easy to veer off of...

And at the mansion that her father resides at, she learns that he is gone. He suddenly left for a trip and no one knows where he is, or when he will return.

So she meets her stepmother, who is considerate to her. Also, she meets Dr. Gerrard, who is visiting.

As she tries to settle in, she looks around the house. In the back there is a lovely pool, but for her it could mean her death.

And passed the pool is the sweeping and quite steep overview of the sea, with those jagged rocks far far below. So much danger.

And so many questions that no one can answer.

And as she frets, her father begins appearing to her, and disappearing before anyone else can witness the visitations. Is she loosing her mind? Is her father attempting to warn her of some danger? Is someone attempting a deadly jest with her? Is someone close by plotting her end?

And, does death await Susan at the cliff's edge?

This is an excellently made film which leaves you guessing at what everyone is playing at...until it's too late. The only way to see what happens, or if anything I've said is true, will be to watch and listen for the Scream of Fear.

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