I was introduced to this gem when I was young....teens. I then was into staying up late and watching TV movies while everyone in my house were sleeping. There were
always old TV movies on in those early hours. With all the lights out and the quietness, a movie seemed personal...even if it was an old forgotten film. I am a horror fan.
Made for TV or theatre films, it doesn't matter. When an old horror movie was scheduled, I planned my night around it. I was acquainted with most of my favorite horror
films from repeat late night TV showings. The television was my means to see all the classic horror films that I was either too young to see when they were new or were not
presented in theaters where I lived.
Let's Scare Jessica To Death came on one night and within the first minute of running I knew I loved this film. The music score, cinematography and atmosphere this film
had went to my top favorite horrors of all time. Watching this movie alone at night with it's subdue mood and continuous eerie flow, it had all the ingredients to
scare/please a horror fan like myself. From that moment on, I looked for this movie to play again on TV and searched the video stores for a copy to rent. I eventually
found a rental and after watching this movie several times, I decided to get a copy of my own. Today I still have that vhs tape and the DVD also. I even made a web site
dedicated to this film. It's great to put the DVD in and watch this film at my convenience, but there's no comparison to seeing this horror movie on TV when the cable
station generously and randomly shows it. My best memory of this film will always be when I seen this film for the first time that late night alone in my livingroom.
I had memories of seeing this classic on TV when I was a kid. I always remember the line when Jessica is staring at the food and she hears, "It's blood, Jessica..."
I recently re-watched it again and realized how much of the film I had forgotten. It's so eerie and subtly creepy! I, too, am a big horror fan and this will always been one
of the classics for me!
Thanks for the website...
This movie scared the crap out of me and my sister when we first saw it on TV around Halloween back in the late 70's/early 80's when we were in our teens. I finally
found it on DVD and have passed on the legacy to other young children. It's a great family movie.
This movie creeped me out so much as a teenager that I wouldn't go in our backyard at night during the summer because I kept expecting Emily to rise from our
in-ground pool. Silly but true.
I believe I first saw it when it first aired on TV. I had been intrigued by its title for years and quite anxious to see if it lived up
to the reputation I imagined for it.
It did, and still does, to this day.
An appreciation of Gothic horror aside, I admire the fact enough is left to the imagination, especially the ending. It may
bother others but their nay-saying just makes me like the film even more.
The actors were superb.
I first came across this film 3 years ago in a video store. I saw this old VHS copy of it, and just pretty much rented it because I liked the picture on the box. What I didn't
know was it would be one of the creepiest horror movies I'd ever seen. I had never seen a horror film so atmospheric and moody. I then immediately tried to find the
DVD. Unfortunately all I could get was a Japanese bootleg on Ebay. Even though the quality wasn't great it didn't stop me from watching the film over and over. It
is now one of my favorite horror films of all time. I was so happy when it was finally released on DVD. Hell I've even visited the house where it was filmed in CT. It's so
great to discover a gem like this in a time where horror movies have never been worse.
As a young girl, it was the first horror movie I ever saw and I was mesmerized. I was in fifth grade and it made me terrified of red headed people for years to come. It
wasn't just scary it was also sad with a very depressing feel that adds to the doom and gloom.
I own LSJTD and a lot of horror movies and still in 2007, Emily coming out of the water towards Jessica is one of the creepiest scenes in my collection.
This movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid and still does
I grew up in the town where this was filmed, believe me, it scares the crap out of me.
When i first saw this classic I was 13 years old. Growing up in New England a lot of the scenes looked like the area I was brought up in. This is by far one of the most bone
chilling movies that I have ever seen. To this day I have a hard time swimming in water that is deep and dark (I'm 6"1/250 and not easily scared). Many years later I was at
a family cabin in the Adirondacks on a beautiful lake, about 200 yards from our dock was a small island that had blue berries on it (we named it blue berry
island...LOL) I was swimming next to my niece and nephew in a row boat going to blue berry island and swam through a patch of water lilies just below the surface, as they
touched my feet all I could think about was this movie and I dam neared drowned. They just don't make them like this one any more.
I was slightly surprised to read that this is one of "The Masters": Stephen King's favorite movies. Now being a grown man with a family of my own, my two children
(daughter 25, son 23) are getting me this movie on DVD for Christmas this year (2007). I'll be able to introduce them to one of the all time classic horror movies ever
Round Lake, Illinois
Like so many others, I remember first watching "Jessica" when it aired on TV around 1972 or '73 (I would have been 9 or 10 years old), and it scared the living sh*t out
of me! The only other "horror" film I can think of that comes close to having this much impact on my childhood was "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" (a 1973 made-for-TV
flick starring Kim Darby which, like "Jessica', has a very avid cult following of Baby Boomer's who were frightened by it as children). It's always been among my favorite
films, not just of horror but of any genre.
I remember watching it a few more times, whenever it aired on TV, but when i got my first VCR in the 1980s and was building up my VHS library, it proved next to
impossible to find "Jessica" on VHS. I gather it was in print for a while in the '80s, but the only place I could find copies of it was on eBay, and competition was usually
fierce, with winning bids approaching $60 - $70 or so ! (This is when i learnt just HOW much of a following this little film had!) I finally did manage to score a copy of the
VHS on eBay. I was excited to learn that it was being released on DVD, but was disappointed when I learnt that it was a rock-bottom budget affair, with no special
features or 'extras'. (The 1971 trailer, and/or retrospective interviews with Hancock and Zorah Lampert would have been wonderful a wonderful bonus.)
To this day, I can't stand watching horror films. This is due entirely to watching this movie as a child in the 70's. It scared the crap out of me. I remember staying up late
watching tv, without my parents knowing, and saw this movie. Thirty some years later, I still remember the name of the film that started it all, leading me to this web site.
A classic New England horror movie. I always wondered why this movie disappeared from the t.v. Thank god for the dvd!! This is the movie that will always come up in
conversations when you ask, Remember that movie "Lets scare Jessica to death!"
I first saw "Let's Scare Jessica to Death" on tv when I was quite young. I was five when it came out in the theaters, so I figure I was between 5 and 10. I only saw,
unfortunately, a small part somewhere towards the end. At least I think it was towards the end. Here's what happened. I was alone, so I'd either snuck down to watch
late night tv or had a rare moment alone in front of the tv on a weekend. I was sitting on the floor right in front of the tv changing the channels (no remotes then, a
t least not for us). I came upon LSJTD. I remember a dark haired woman being very afraid, at night, running frantically from her persuers. I was very affected by it, but
for some reason, after a short time, I started changing the channel again. I don't know why; I remember the feeling of having to check something and knowing that when I
was done I would go back to LSJTD. When I tried, however, I couldn't find it. I frantically flipped up and down the channels but it !
never appeared. I was really bumbed out and, as you can tell, never forgot it. Many times growing up I would ask if anyone knew the movie, but I found any sign that it
even existed until I looked online last year. I was able to rent it on Netflix. So good. Made me happy.
My Dad used to let me stay up late at night watching horror flicks from a very young age, so by the time I was 11 in the late Seventies, I figured I was pretty much immune
and could sit through just about anything. (After all, I had seen "The Pit and the Pendulum" and become an avid fan of Vincent Price before even starting school!)
I remember that it was some time in the summer of 1977 and the movie was to be aired on television amid a lot of hype by the then-Bible of T.V., "The TV Guide." I
remember reading the cover story in that week's edition, in which the decision by networks to air the movie on regular TV was hotly debated. The movie was described as
just too scary!! (Does anyone else remember this TV Guide story, by the way?)
Anyway, that was all I needed to make a night of it. My parents were in the process of divorcing and weren't really paying attention to what I was doing that summer - so I
guess they didn't notice that their 11-year old was sitting up watching the most contested TV show of the season!
I loved the movie immediately - the fog, the slow pace, the subtle soundtrack and of course, Jessica herself. I found myself relating to her, and empathizing with her
self-doubt and inability to reach out and connect confidently with others - even her loved ones.
And of course I immediately hated Emily, knowing her immediately for what she was - a vampire out to steal the last fragment's of Jessica's sanity and damn her to an
eternity of wandering the countryside, ruminating and hearing voices.
The scariest part of the movie for me was the scene in which Emily rises slowly from the lake and moves toward Jessica - beckoning with her whispering voices to "stay"
against the sound of a quickening heartbeat. That image of Emily in the sodden wedding dress absolutely terrified me - I'm still not sure why, exactly. But I will say that that
night, I wet my bed for the first and only time in my life, after reliving parts of the movie in my dreams.
I never saw the movie on television again, although I longed to find it on late night TV, and wandered the aisles of every video store I entered, passively hoping to see it. I
did find the VHS tape at an indie video store about fifteen years ago, and treated my husband to the experience of watching it. He wasn't particularly moved, but I was just
as entranced as I had been that first time.
Since then, I have looked for the movie on DVD and I know that it can be rented from Netflix. But there is something about just finding it on TV late one night that makes the
experience so special, and I wanted that experience again so I was willing to wait.
Then, this past New Years Eve, my husband was not feeling well and went to bed early, leaving me with a very good bottle of Pinot Noir, a cheese plate, my three cats, and
a big screen TV to pass the evening. On a lark, I checked the free movies offered on a dedicated channel through our cable company - they have a horror category and I
figure that there might be some new ones listed for the start of the new month. And boy was did I hit the jackpot! There in the list of new movies was my old favorite!
I sat up into the wee hours watching the travails of Jessica, Emily, Duncan and their generously moustached male sidekick (what was THAT all about, anyway?) while
drinking my wine and eating cheese and bread. In fact, I got a real kick out of the scene of the four of them sitting around the kitchen table drinking red wine and eating in
"real time" with me. ("It's blood, Jessica, blood....')Wow!
The sounds and images still resonated so deeply with me - the sounds of the grave-rubbings brushing the walls of the bedroom as the clock ticked away the hours was still
so creepy and lonely and beautiful after thirty years.
What a fantastic and unexpected treat - and how odd that I found this gem again on the last night of a tired old year, as I was sitting in solitude and contemplating my plans
for the new year.
The movie did not really frighten me this time so much as it stirred my empathy for a woman whose closest relationships, through human weakness and betrayal, failed her
utterly. I could see metaphor in the film this time around, although I will not dwell here as I have no idea whether this was the director's (conscious)intention or not.
I will say that I felt as though I had received a gentle visit from a charasmatic old friend, someone who had wisdom to impart. And I went to bed feeling I had received some
kind of closure - although on what, I cannot say.
I LOVE this movie!!!
always a fan of late night horror, I'd scour tv guide each time my ma took us kids grocery shopping while waiting at check out, looking closely at friday and saturday night films,
creature feature, scream theatre, things of that nature. lets scare jessica to death was one of the films that for one reason or another found a home in my psyche. looking
back, very cheesey, but equally if not more effective, especially if absorbed all alone. another one that stuck that I haven't heard a thing about in f
orever, afilm called ssssssss, or possibly known as ssssnake. interesting, fun, a simpler time an easier place, but above all, frightening! WBS
I used to walk by a family owned video store in Fresno, California in the late 1980's when I was attending elementary school. The store was called Korner Video and there was a
large movie poster in the window for "Let's Scare Jessica To Death". It looked creepy, but my dad was a horror movie fanatic and he used to rent movies for us, despite our age,
so most of the films did not scare me very much.
However, each time I went into Korner Video and requested the movie (I was only eight years old), the only copy was always out. I settled for other slasher type films, like Slumber
Party Massacre, Sleepaway Camp, and Demon Night.
But no matter how many times I went into Korner Video, they never had " Let's Scare Jessica To Death". A few years later, the video store went out of business and I continued on
Nearly 20 years later, I sit before my TV set on my night off, scrolling through the free movies offered through Comcast On-Demand and there it is: "Let's Scare Jessica To Death"
Finally, I get to watch it, I could not even find it on Netflix! I watched the entire film, from start to finish and I was more scared from this film then any of the more predictable films
I'm glad I finally got to see "Let's Scare Jessica To Death" now when I am 28, and it made me remember all those times I had trekked to the Video Store when I was younger and
asked for it. It made me remember what it was like to want to see that film so bad. Not only was I scared, but it brought back long ago childhood memories I thought I had forgotten.
Andrea, 28, Fresno, California.
I first remember seeing this film on television way back when I was a kid. I was intrigued when I saw it offered again on fearnet through our cable company. I am a fan of 70's horror,
and collect many of the dvds. To me, those films, "Jessica" in point, evoke a time when atmosphere and mood set the tone and to NOT show everything, was indeed showing more.
The story and/or plot may not be the scariest, but the music, lighting, and location make up for that. Feelings of isolation and insecurity are all real fears for all of us, and adding
Jessica's doubt of her sanity just adds to the emotional drama of this great little film.
Debbi from Pennsyvania
just a few weeks ago, I was sick at home, and Let's scare Jessica to death was playing on T.v. So, I figured, Why Not? and Clicked it on, hoping to see some campy thrills and fun. Well, I
was certainly surprised. Like I said, I wasn't expecting scares, just laughs, But I was creeped out by the atmosphere, and even more the ending. I didn't know what to make of it at first, It
certainly blew most movies out of the water for me. A landmark in Retro-Horror, I believe. This film must be viewed more, bec
ause being someone who is almost never scared by a horror movie, I was.
I first saw Jessica on TV way back in the late 70s when I was about ten years old, and boy did it give me the creeps! I never forgot it and recently had the opportunity to watch it again. I
had forgotten a lot of the plot details, but it's amazing how well I remembered certain scenes and things like the atmosphere, the voices in Jessica's head (hers and Emily's), and Emily's
creepiness! Hancock did a great job in making those elements (and others) truly memorable. I wasn't nearly as scared this
time around, but I enjoyed the movie even more with my more "mature" sensibilities and yes, although it looks dated, I think it's still a great film. I need to find a copy of this for horror
Saw it on the late Friday night show, "Big Chuck and Lil' John" in Cleveland. Scared me to death!!! Only saw it once in the late 70's, and it made a big impact. I recently saw it
again on dvd, and it still scared me! I felt like I was 12 again. A real gem.
Being a horror movie fan for 20 years now, this was the first and only movie that made me sleep with the light on. Best movie I have ever seen
Every Sunday when it rained my father would take my brother and I to the movies. He was a horror movie buff. I remember it being a double feature with a western or something. It was
great spending the afternoon in that old movie house on Long Island. Jessica scared the shit out of us. The lake scene where blue eyes takes a dive and surfaces all white blew me away.
When Jessica ran away back to the house I was trembling and waiting for something to happen. But the silence and being alone there
had an even scarier effect. This is one of my favorite movies. Thanks DAD for not having a problem bring an 8 year old to an "R" rated movie back then.
I was six years old when my mother said that "Aunt Diane" was going to baby sit me while she was away. Aunt Diane was 16 yrs old and not right as a teen. She was obsessed with horror films and quija
boards. She is still "out there".
Anyway, Diane asked my Mom if she would take myself and her to the movies to see a G rated movie. Diane on that day was a scheeming teen. I never got to see that movie so I do not remember what
we were supposed to see. What I do remember is Diane sucessfully arguing for me to go into the other screen to see a movie called "Jessica". Just Jessica.
Needless to say, though I did not comprehend some of the dialogue and nuance, what I did witness and understand scared the living crap out of me!! I was scarred by that movie till I hit High School. I
remember being very angry at my Mother for letting this happen.
At some point I basically forgot about the movie and as young adult became totally distracted by life.
I was renting a movie to watch with my girlfriend when I came across a movie that looked "B" grade horror flick called "Let's Scare Jessica to Death". I barely gave it time and continued to scan the
selections,...wait a minute?.....I remember a scary movie called Jessica???,..What if that's Jessi....?? I never rented that movie that night. I thought that it could be as scary as I remembered it. That was
Forward to 2006, Myself and another person were talking about suspense movies that creep into your mind. It hit me that this "Jessica" was that kind of movie though the last time I had seen it was
My friend had never heard of it, so I turned to the internet to see if it was still available as maybe a used VHS. Lo and behold, this movie has creeped the hell out of everyone!
I bought the movie (DVD). Yep! That's the right movie I had seen as a 6 year old. I watched it during the day while some family was around in the house. Hey!,..I hear what some of you may be
thinkin(chicken!),...and I have no problems watching "the Grudge", "the Ring" or whatever, but this fabulous movie is relentless in its attack on your psyche. Believe me, You'll think about this movie for a
I remember seeing "Let's Scare Jessica To Death" for the first time at some point in the mid-70's on T.V., very late one summer night, when I was probably about 10 years old. I was so completely
drawn to it and terrified at the same time -- the performances, locations, photography, and music totally captivated me, and I remember when the movie ended being too scared to even get up and turn
off the T.V. It has been indelibly etched in my mind for all these years, and I just had the pleasure of seeing
g it again on DVD tonight. I still love it!
John B., Santa Monica, CA
I used to watch this movie just about every summer when I was a kid on Baltimore's "One O'Clock Movie" and "Ghost Host Theatre." I've waited it seems like forever for the DVD, which I just bought
today, and I can't wait to watch it again.
Creepy dead people in the lake, that's what keeps bringing me back!
I drove to the town where they did some of the filming. I could easily see how the town looked like some of the scenery, especially the water, where they were filmed swimming.
i watch this film every night before bed, it just gives me this feeling i can't explain it. The music is amazing! My family thinks I'm nuts, but I've never been fascinated by a film like this one. I've
been researching the locations, so i can go visit the sights. Thank you!
I was 6 when the movie came out. I have always loved horror movies, even when i was young! This one was at the top of my list! It took me a while to find the movie but i finally have it added
to my movie collection! I remember watching it several times on TV growing up and it always gave me the creeps!!
Wow. I have been trying to remember the name of this movie for years, and asking in webgroups "does anyone remember this movie where..." After going through IMDB and all the ABC
Movie of the Week info (I was certain it was one, incorrectly), the title just flew into my 48 year old brain!
Then to find that someone actually dedicated a website to the movie, well, obviously it had quite an impact on others as well.
Other movies that impacted me from the era: Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring. Lisa, Bright and Dark. Go Ask Alice. The Screaming Woman. remember those?
On a quiet summer afternoon in the eighth grade, I caught this classic while home alone and it was enough, with the drapes drawn in the heat of a quiet brick apartment
complex...to scare me for years. I started sleeping, even on the warmest nights...with a sheet up by my turned neck and face so I would have the chance to "feel" someone pull
it back (presumably before slicing my face or neck). This became subconscious, and I didn't get over it until my mid-twenties.
Um so me and my friend found this at a thrift store last week. we watched it and it changed our very lives to their cores. abigail lives on. rockin' it.
ellen and henni
It was 1978 and i was home from school. I stayed up late when i figured i would chill and watch some tv. Well lets scare jessica to death came on like at
midnight.It gave me the creeps for years afterwards.I didn't see it for about 17 years later.Hunted around for it on dvd finally bought it even have the poster as a
birthday gift love it. not to many horror flicks stay with me i really feel for jessica great film.
I actually first saw LSJTD when it played on TNT, I'd say, around 1991. I was only 12 at the time, and I was home alone. Let me tell you, I was creeped out, and didn't dare go upstairs
until my mother got home. I've since watched it countless times, and with each watching, I continue to be creeped out and thoroughly impressed with this amazing, spooky, unique (I
can go on...) chiller.