In Stephen King’s book Danse Macabre, he talks about horror in books and movies and why we are so drawn to these themes and stories. It’s a great book by a master of the genre. He talks about many movies in the course of the book and there’s a big appendix at the back with some recomended viewing. This Hallowe’en I picked some movies from this list to watch and share with you.
Starring: Lauren Hutton, David Birney, Adrienne Barbeau
Director: John Carpenter
A beautiful young woman moves to start over after a bad break up. She rents a great apartment, meets a new man and makes friends with a girl from work. But when she starts getting strange gifts and creepy phone calls, she realises that someone is watching her from inside her apartment building.
This film has a bit of a reputation as being a long lost John Carpenter film, so you might have some trouble finding it, but it is worth a watch if you’re a Carpenter fan. Carpenter has talked about the way that he was influenced by Dario Argento and Hitchcock in this film, and there is definitely a Rear Window feel to this film. It shows the way that Carpenter is able to create tension and build on it, even with just a few actors and very early on in his career.
I really enjoyed seeing Lauren Hutton in this film. I felt like she was tough, but also felt real. I haven’t seen her in much before this, and I really liked her. She was originally a model and she definitely has great presence and 70’s style in this film. I also liked a moment where her new friend admits that she’s a lesbian. I think perhaps it’s meant to make you wonder if she could be the stalker, but it never really goes there. It felt a bit ahead of it’s time, like it’s accepted and then the film moves on and it’s not an issue.
There’s not a huge body count in this film and compared to modern thrillers, you might find it a bit slow, but I enjoyed it. I liked the feel of it, the studio aura of the apartment, the 70’s hair and fashion, the sense of menace and fear: it’s a good film and a must watch for Carpenter fans.
Scale Of Scary: 3/10. It’s tense and threatening, but it’s not an all out scary film.