Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Spell (1977)

The Spell is a pleasant surprise.  Although much of the soundtrack sounds like an ABC After School Special, this one delivers the goods more times than not.  [It was a made for TV movie so that explains a great deal.]  The Spell chronicles the life of the dysfunctional Matchett family.  Dad is mostly absent and disconnected, except when he's yelling at someone.  Mom, [played wonderfully by Lee Grant] is trying her best to keep her family from falling apart.  They have two daughters, the youngest of which is pretty and popular.  A very young Helen Hunt does a nice job with this character.  Finally, there's the "fat sister" [although there's nothing fat about her]  who is bullied by her peers and her parents.  Sweet little Rita also has magical powers which she uses to exact her revenge upon those whom she deems a threat to her happiness.  [Think of Rita as Carrie's kid sister.]  Susan Myers [Revenge of the Nerds, James at 16] is wonderful as Rita.  While she doesn't have the intensity of Sissy Spacek in Carrie, she delivers the goods and hits all the right emotional notes throughout the film.

While the cinematography feels a bit dated for the late 1970's, the pacing of the film is good and the tension keeps increasing until it hits a fevered pitch toward the end of the film.  Furthermore, there's a small surprise in the climactic moments of The Spell that works very well.

While The Spell is not in the same league as other late 70's classics such as Carrie and Fright Night, it's surprisingly good and I was thoroughly entertained by it.  Don't miss this one.  It's a neglected gem of late 70's TV horror. [You can stream this one on Netflix.]

RATING: Very Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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