I remember the first time I watched LSJTD. I was living in a townhouse at the time and my wife was working 3rd shift. I would stay up all night waiting
for her to get home and one night, decided to watch LSJTD. It was winter and that night was particularly cold and windy; very windy. For some
reason, the mail slot in our front door had an eiree way of making this creepy noise every time the wind blew through it. Just the atmosphere that
LSJTD created is still something that I have yet to experience in a horror movie. Truly a dark tale that kept me from falling asleep on the couch!
I SAW THIS MOVIE ON THE SCI FI CHANNEL BACK WHEN THEY SHOWED SCARY MOVIES ALL THE TIME MUST HAVE BEEN THE EARLY 90s.
I LOVED IT! STILL DO I LOVE THE GOTHY FEEL IT HAS.
I first saw this film on T.V. in 1988. Was one of the movies shown on "Saturday Night Nightmares." I taped it on VHS and it became a big hit for my
pre-teen nieces and nephews. We even took a video camera and re-created the movie. It is hilarious to watch! C.G. Teffeteller, Maryville, TN.
I first saw Let's Scare Jessica to Death in the late 70s on late-night television. I was probably 12 or 13 and remember that it was the last night of summer vacation. I
watched it alone in my parent's basement and became so scared that I actually felt ill! The movie managed to tap into many of my own fears - almost like it was made
just for me. I tried to catch in whenever it was on TV and later rented the video dozens of times from a local store. I loved Zohra Lampert's performance and around
1986 wrote her a letter that she kindly replied to. She even showed this letter to Mariclare Costello and I received a note from her also, thanking me for sharing my
thoughts. This was a big thrill for me, and both actresses seemed genuinely pleased that someone still enjoyed the film (I think this was probably before it had much
of a cult following). I still love the movie today - I know every scene and word of dialogue by heart, and yet it still manages to make a deep impression on me. In some
ways I find it even more frightening as an adult than I did as a kid - not necessarily its horror elements as much as its themes of uncertainty and betrayal.
I don't remember the first time I saw this, but afterwards I'd scan "TV Guide" and I'd only watch it if it was airing in the afternoon.
I've never seen the movie, but always wondered about it! I'm glad to see that it's available on DVD....I can't wait to watch it! I was named after the movie!!!
I used to drive by the Jessica house the time. It was right off the main interstate highway running through Connecticut. Exit 67 if I remember correctly. You
wouldn't know from watching the movie it was right off the highway, must have been a nightmare when recording sound. Anyway, it was torn down a few years
I went into the city to see a movie with my parents when I was about 11 and we ended up seeing this at the old Embassy theatre, now long gone in
Auckland,N.Z. I thought it was pretty cool at the time because it was my first R.13, which was how they rated them back then.It kind of freaked me a little, being
so young I guess, and although I forgot a lot of it over time,certain elements always stayed with me.The woman in the lake,the dead guy on the tractor and
especially the towns people in the house. It's funny that this movie I thought no one would remember seems to have had such an affect on so many of you.I
always imagined if I ever saw it again it wouldn't amount to much but perhaps it was as creepy as I remember it was almost 40 years ago. It's nice to know this
movie left a lasting imprint on others as well.
Actually I like this movie not so much for the suspense, but rather as a glimpse of a by-gone era--the "simple life" of the early 1970s. The characters aren't
obsessed with answering their cell phones, don't have degrees or stressed out with making a lot of money, etc. They have time to talk to each other in person,
wear simple clothes, and enjoy rural life (until Emily, course!) :)
It was one dark night in the late 70s that i first saw this film on late night tv . WOW it was so eerie, and a real shocker. Zohra Lampert was perfect for the role
of Jessica, and the rest of the were great too. I find this one up there with some of the best.
I remember I first saw this film on the Sci-Fi Channel (WAY before it became Sy-Fy!) when I was 12 or 13, around the mid-1990s (now I'm 29). It was a
Saturday afternoon and I was home alone. I was flipping through the channels and caught it right as it started. The movie left an impression on me. I
remember feeling totally creeped out after the film was finished. Even though it was sunny outside, I felt like it had become cloudy because of how the movie
made me feel! It was so simply done, yet
the combination of music, storyline, and the early 1970's "look" made this film one of my favorite movies of all time. The music, especially, is very eerie with its
various melodies throughout the film.
Many years later, when I was in college, I searched for online and purchased the VHS of the film and watched it. All of the spooky feelings I felt after watching
it that very first time came back instantly! A few years ago, I finally purchased the DVD version. By chance, one day around the same time I had just bought
the DVD, I happened to be in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and drove by the big old house that was used in the filming of the movie. How cool was that!
Now with the Internet there is so much more to find about this movie, and I even heard rumors of a remake. I'm not sure if I believe it though! It's amazing to
see so many other fans of the movie like myself.
Thanks for creating such an awesome site!
Cranston, Rhode Island
I had read what Stephen King had to say about the film in his book Danse Macabre. For years I tried to locate a copy, and could not find one-or
anyone who'd seen it. I eventually got a computer, and bought a VHS copy of the film on ebay for 6 dollars. I've never parted with it, and this film
has become one of my all time favorite horror films.
I just watched this film while lying in bed on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I actually thought I might take a nap because my daughter had a slumber party
the night before, and I had been awakened several times. This movie was one my daughter had picked out for the girls at her party to watch, but
they didn't because some of the girls didn't want to be scared. I became so engrossed with the movie that I have not had a nap! The sight of Emily
coming out of that water in her wedding dress was extremely creepy. I love the way the movie isn't "overdone."
I love this movie and watch it very often. Halloween time is the best time to watch it.
I have the VHS, and now the DVD. Will always love it, it is the best one in my horror collection..
Thanks for this website
My name is Robert White, I live in Elizabeth Indiana and I was about 6 years old in 1975 the first time I saw Lets Scare Jessica to Death. My parents let me stay up
late one weekend to watch SNL and as soon as they went to bed I went channel surfing. The creepy music at the open of the picture hooked me and I couldn't turn
away. I was scared to death(No pun intended)by this film. As the years went by I looked back and decided that I most likely frightened so badly because of my age
at the time. When I was 28 years old me and a friend were board so we went into town to buy some beer and sit up all night watching horror films. We went into a
video store and I found Lets Scare Jessica to Death and had to rent it. My friend was not happy with my choice, he likes the more recent stuff. He was singing a
different tune by the time the movie was over, and I was scared to death once more. This is one of the greatest horror films ever made. Everyone should see it at
least once! I bet a lot of people will be to scared to watch it a second time.
I WAS ONLY 4-YEARS OLD WHEN IT CAME OUT AND I SAW IT WHEN I WAS ABOUT EIGHT.
TO THIS DAY IT STILL CREEPS ME TO DEATH. THE BEST 70'S HORROR NOSTALGIA STARTS HERE.
I grew up in the 70's and was always into creature features and new horror movies that came out back then even though I was only 4 when it came out.
I am sure that I saw it on Bob Wilkins hour of horror or dialing for dollars, a good horror movie always leaves a trace of itself behind after you've seen it and this one was
definitely a classic.
I don't know if an updated version will be able to top matters but 70's horror I know will always live on for those who experienced it back then and who is always looking for
Jessica film scared me to death late one summer night on a basic-cable channel in 1983 or so. Almost twenty years passed before I rented the film on VHS, and my
second viewing confirmed it as one of my top 20 horror films of all time. A few years back, I had the opportunity to meet the still-lovely Zohra Lampert in person and thank
her for giving fans of low-key supernatural films a performance for the ages.
I can't believe I didn't see this movie until 2011! I love this type of horror movie and the music is amazing! It had me hooked when Jessica read the grave stone
rubbing- something like, fragile as the leaves on a shivering spray. like them, we grow. like them, decay. What a great movie!
I watched this in the 70's as a newly wed. I spent the whole movie peeking at it from behind my husbands back. Had nightmares for weeks afterwards.
I'm nine years old and begging my parents to let me see this movie(I have mo memory of what it was rated at the time). Somehow, the pleading works with the caveat
that they won't take me but they will drop me and my 12 year old brother off to see the flick. This two hours of cinema experience has stuck with me throughout my entire
half century of life. I still shiver when I recall any of the scenes of Jessica. I had to sleep in my brothers bedroom for a week and with a light turned
on. My brother and I have agreed on very little in our daily lives, but one thing we always agree upon is that Jessica scared us to death(at least a small death) and
continues to do so at the time you're all reading this.
I saw LSJTD as a Saturday night movie at my high school, St. George's in Newport, RI. I'm not sure whether anyone of us knew then that the movie had been made a little
bit west of there in Old Saybrook, CT. There were twenty or thirty teenagers gathered in the Common Room watching a 16 mm print of the film. I've always liked scary
movies and I was pleased that our Movie Club had decided to show one. I'm not sure if it was the film or the setting or a combination of the two but I remember being
impressed and not a little spooked by the movie, and particularly remembered the scene where Jessica finds Woody dead on the moving tractor. All in all it was
memorable enough for me to seek the movie out 30 years later!
I live where this creepy movie was made. I drive by that run down old scary house several times a wk. The brush and trees have grown up in front so its hard to see from
the rd. Also, there is no orchard or cove near the house. That stuff was probably all filmed in Chester, ct which is about 4 exits up the highway which in the movie is as
you see, exit 6. Old Saybrook where the house is, is exit 2. The house is located on Rt 1, by I95, and it near a dying auto mall and the shoreline marinas. Not
sure who owns the house but i've gotta great idea for a remake!
I first saw the film when I was about 10 years old. Every Friday night at midnight was a show called Night Owl Theatre that would air two old horror movies.
The MC of the show was a guy named Fritz the Night Owl.
I never forgot the movie. Loved it! Still do! Now at 40 years old I was only able to find it on Netflix and rent it regularly.
I first saw it on TV and I honestly don't remember how old I was but being a lover of scary movies, it has stuck with me every since. It is absolutely one of my most favorite
movies of all time. I love how it began with the same scene it did when it ended. I think that was brilliant. I have never been one to buy movies but this is one I did buy to keep.
I was 13. It was just out in theaters. I was supposed to meet my friend at the theater for the 7pm show. He didn't show up and I was alone in a fairly empty theater.
Maybe the first time I'd ever seen a movie alone in a theater. I had to keep going out to the lobby just to get a grip, I was so freaked out. I walked out of there at the
end thinking everyone probably had those neck scars. I had nightmares for two weeks, literally every night. I kept looking for it on video and when I finally rented it I
realized it wasn't that great, but if it had been edited a bit better and with a better ending, it really could've been great. I still love it - always will stay inside my head
that sense of being paranoid and nobody believes you and then bang they were all vampires after all. Just killer. Some amazing cinematography - that part of the
film is truly astounding - the images - the setting - it doesn't get any better for creepy.
My dad took me to this when it first came out. I was 13 years old. We lived in Connecticut, so the setting of the film seemed very very real to me.
The intense subtleties in Zohra Lampert's Jessica pulled me into the film even then. Her fragility is just exquisite, and the terror I felt is due in large part to feeling such
empathy for her. I've been telling my son about it for years and finally watched it with him. I was worried that it would be one of those memories that sounds scarier than it
ends up being upon being revisited. But he was totally drawn into the film. I loved seeing it again. Put me on edge all over again.
Best subtle scene: Jessica in the chicken house buying eggs... high spirited going in, then it all changes.
I was looking in a website some horror films to download, and then I found in the list of available film's the words Scare Jessica to Death. The title was so catchy for me to
check out the film. Bad reviews in Rotten Tomatoes (20%) and a bad trailer in YouTube doesn't prevent me to watch a movie with an interesting premise and a title so
I download the film and then, one night, I put my headphones and start watching it: IT WAS AMAZING. It have it's flaws, of course, but since the first time that I watched
the film, it have become one of my favorite horror films of all time.
I first saw this film in the movies back in 1972, the theater was nearly empty so that only added to its atmosphere. Now when I watch, as when I was a youngster, the
movie stays with me for days afterwards. A deep feeling of melancholy that transforms itself from the film into reality for a brief time. What is even more perplexing is that
the makers of this gem have no real inkling as to the beauty and its overall dramatic impact on the horror genre. It ranks up there with films like, The
Haunting, The Innocents, but I feel that it actually out shines them. If there ever was an award for best dramatic performance in a horror film it would have to be Zhora's
excellent portrayal of Jessica, watching it is almost painful and heart wrenching in that she captures the emotions of a tortured soul with vocal intonations and excellent
facial expressions. Working in the health field I could swear that she spent some time in a mental health facility just to gauge the nuances of a patient. Her performance
is spot on and this film will always be among my favorites.
I just watched it for the first time that I can remember for sure (March 21, 2012). I think I may have seen the last few minutes on cable when I was a kid in the mid
80's...but I'm not sure.
I do however, DEFINITELY remember seeing the cover on many VHS boxes in many movie rental stores here when I was a kid.
I really liked this movie a lot!
I fist saw this on tv about 1976. I was nine years old and my dad had it on. To this day,no other movie gets under my skin like this one. You could never duplicate the
atmosphere and mood of this film today. The only other film in this league is Lemora, a child's tale of the supernatural and to a lesser extent, Messiah of evil. Doug
I was 4 or 5 years old, and it was the ABC Prime Time Friday night movie of the week. I saw it rerun several times on afternoon TV over the next ten years or, then not
for around 20 years, then an art house screening on the big screen by the Washington Psychotronic film Society in 2002. Saw it again last night on TCM and was
amazed at how atmospheric it was, it was more so then I remembered, hence the google search this morning over my coffee leading me to this site.
I saw it at the theatres when it first came out. I was 11 or 12 at the time. I am 52 now but I had remembered so many of the scenes in the movie as a child. I recently saw it on
Turner Classic Movies and was even more intrigued at this later age. Ms Lampert's performance was impressive and believable as a mentally fragile woman. Better than
anything out there today. The movie was dark, creepy, sad, and the music was fantastic! The ending was genius as the viewer was sort of left, along wit
h Jessica, not knowing the difference between madness and insanity. In other words, was she really sick or were there ghosts and vampires? Rotten Tomatoes gave this
movie a 20! Not surprising as there is no depth or creative genius to any movies made in this day and age. This is one of the best horror films of all time.
I fell in love with this movie when I first watched it, the music is the best... My dad is the one who introduced me to it, since then I have not been able to go to sleep without it... it just gives me
the chills and you don't know what it';s all about, you need to figure it out yourself... I've had friends watch this movie and they always ask me whats going on? I tell them I don't even know, you
have to figure it out for yourself. There's really is no way to figure it out, you have your own decision at the end of the movie. It's either Jessica is insane or she's not.I myself still don't know
and I've been watching this movie for years.
As elementary school children, my big sister and I would watch horror tv every weekend. I'd guess that we saw LSJTD first on Dr Shocks Horror Theatre, a Sunday (I think) afternoon program
from Philadelphia, PA. This and The Deathmaster (with Robert Quarry) are my two fondest horror memories from the 70s. I can't tell you how pleased I was when Jessica was finally released
I watched this movie on Channel 38 The Movie Loft. I was probably far too young to see it (I was born the year after it's release), but I had a habit of sneaking into my Grandparent's room to
watch movies on their old B&W while everyone was downstairs & I was supposed to be asleep. To this day, it's my favorite horror movie and the sole reason I will never go in a lake!!
I remember this film from when I was a child. I had first seen it on Television . . a late movie.. .( I often used to sneak downstairs to watch tv late)
I saw Abigail drifting through the water and I was frozen!! It scared the tar out of me, and it stayed with me to this day.
It is to this day one of my favorites !
I found this classic horror gem back in the 70's on late-night TV when I was a teen. Gave me chills. Especially the scene with Emily comes out of the water in the dress. The music perfectly fit
the creepy rise. I had to sleep with the lights on that night and have been a big fan ever since.
First and only time I've seen it was at the fantastic films weekend in Bradford 2 years ago and I loved it.Loved the picture.The atmosphere too.Great horror!
Saw this on TV with my cousins when it aired in the 1970's. It was a must see for us, like The Reincarnation of Peter Proud. It really scared us! But I didn't recall much about
it over the years. I'd always assumed this was an ABC Movie of the Week, not a theatrical release.
Because it didn't have the popularity of Rosemary's Baby or The Stepford Wives, two films it vaguely resembles, it seems to be considered by a lot of people to be bad 70's
I saw it for the first time again a few months ago on Comcast free movies, and I was just really stunned. The film is beautifully paced, atmospheric, incredibly well
photographed and acted, and damn, just creepy. I probably watched it 4 or 5 times over a couple of weeks. Everything just works. The weird bandaged towns people and
an extra layer of creepiness. Nice to see it getting some recognition.
HELLO MY NAME IS VINNY FROM MECHANICVILLE, NEW YORK. I AM 34 YEARS OLD. I HAVE HEARD ABOUT THIS MOVIE FOR A FEW YEARS NOW AND I FINALLY BOUGHT IT ON
AMAZON VIDEO ON DEMAND. THIS MOVIE GIVES ME THE CREEPS EVERY TIME I WATCH IT AND THE BEST PART OF IT IS IT DOES NOT NEED THE GORE AND BLOOD AND GUTS.
THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THE MOVIE IS PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR. WAS IT ALL IN JESSICA'S HEAD? WAS IT A CONSPIRACY? IN MY OPINION I THINK SHE WAS CRAZY.
BUT I ALSO THINK THAT THE GIRL, EMILY REALLY WAS A GHOST!! GREAT JOB BY DIRECTOR JOHN HANCOCK FOR MAKING THIS FILM VERY REALISTIC AND IT'S TOO BAD A LOT
OF PEOPLE NOW DAYS DON'T APPRECIATE THESE KINDS OF MOVIES. I LOVE THIS MOVIE AND ALWAYS WILL. IT WILL FOREVER BE A CREEPY ONE FOR SURE!
I was 6 years old (in 1974) when I was sleeping over my dad's friend's house who had a son my age. His mother had the movie on TV that night. I always remember the early scene in the
cemetery when she saw the girl and heard voices then she was gone. Really scared me. I had forgotten about this movie until about the summer of 1979 when I was watching Night Owl
theater which was a Saturday night host of horror movies here in the Philadelphia area at midnight. This movie works so well because it has fairly obscure actors who could act quite well,
especially for a horror movie. Doesn't depend on all the gore of others, and hearing creepy voices freaks everybody out! I'm so glad it came to DVD in 2006. Emily coming out of the water as
Abigail in her wedding dress was terrifying! Totally underrated movie that really has staying power. Always a favorite at Halloween. Oh and by the way, a person who has drowned in a lake
years earlier then rises up to the surface to attack. Is it me or did Friday the 13th copy this a little. Just thought I'd put it out there.
Ah yes, the great horror movies of the early 1970's. Deathdream, Children shouldn't play with dead things, See no evil, Don't be afraid of the dark, Bad Ronald, Sisters etc. and the all time
best-Let's Scare Jessica to Death. Voices in your head, now you see it now you don't, am I crazy or are they really vampires? Is that Emily in that old picture? I mean Abigail? The creepiest
music, and very strange towns people with scars. This movie hasn't let up in over 40 years. Just once I'd like to go up to Old Saybrook CT late one Halloween night and walk around that Cove
and near the house. But I'm afraid of the hickey Abigail might give me! Great movie that never fails to unnerve it's viewers. Awesome site! An appropriate tribute to this gem of a film.
I saw this movie when it was released in the 1970's. It was playing in the Westhampton Beach Movie Theatre and I was with my best friend Shaz, (everyone was a hippie then...or a
weird nerd. I was a bit of each). I remember that & Jessica was recovering from mental illness and was being driven to emotional terror by events taking place in the community. Was it
an island? I think others who seemed to be alive were not and all of them, including her husband, were driving her out of her mind. The whole movie was terrifying. I can't remember
additional details other than the main character had red hair and when my friend and I walked out of the theatre after the movie, a young woman with very long red hair was riding a
bicycle on the sidewalk right outside the door. Our eyes bugged out of our heads, we shuddered and we stared at each other, frightened even more, since it seemed this scary movie
was now taking place beyond the confines of the theatre. Very very scary movie. NICE!
I remember they handed out a piece of paper as you entered the theater. It looked like those old ink blot tests. You were told to stare at it for a few seconds and look at a blank wall. It was a
pic of Jessica. Creeped me out for a long time
I must have been 7 or so when I first saw this movie, and as you can imagine, it was a incredibly scary and thrilling experience. I would like to express my deep appreciation for this
work of art, as I still view it as a mature adult with fond memories (and with hair-raising, still, at certain key moments).
This is beauty.
I first saw Let's Scare Jessica To Death on tv in the mid 1970's. Believe it or not this Low-Budget/Cult Classic was actually shown in Prime Time on a Major Network-ABC! I
thought ABC should have shown Let's Scare Jessica To Death every year at Halloween but they only showed it twice. I didn't see Let's Scare Jessica To Death again until a
decade later when the USA network showed it a few times, first on a show called Commander USA's Groovy Movies & Let's Scare Jessica To Death didn't have the shock value
that Friday The 13th had which Paramount Pictures released just a few years after but it's a very eerie and scary Horror movie. Wes Pierce.
The Cult Classic Let's Scare Jessica To Death is filled with symbolism. Jessica is America and Americans in 1971-shattered by the turmoil of the 1960's. The assassination of President John
F.Kennedy, The assassination of Robert Kennedy, The assassination of Martin Luther King, The Vietnam War, The Civil Rights Movement. When I watched Let's Scare Jessica To Death
when I was a teen-ager in the late 1980's I had just come out of the brutal world of High School; To me the waif (Gretchen Corbett) Jessica sees is what she'll be if she's not strong and if she
doesn't fight, Jessica is strong and she fights and survives. What I got out of Let's Scare Jessica To Death, as a teen, is that you have to be strong and fight to survive.
If Paramount Pictures gave me the honor of Writing, producing and directing a remake of the Horror Classic Let's Scare Jessica To Death, I would cast either Meryl
Streep or Susan Sarandon as Jessica. I would cast a Hunky young actor as Duncan. I would cast Nicole Kidman or Charlize Theron as the vampire because they both
have a timeless beauty& look.
Wes Pierce. Orlando,Florida.
Grew up in the town and area where this was filmed and after watching this when I was a kid would never ride my bike any where near that house. Also knew a couple of the old guys with
bandages. They would always freak me out when I saw them on the street after that. Scary and suspenseful movie. Need to go back and see it again and scare my kids.
My first experience with Lets Scare Jessica to death was the Late night movie experience on television on local channel nine from Chattanooga they would have late night movies not all
were horror. I caught the end of the movie I was probably around 6 or 7 years of age when I caught the end of the film that was enough to frighten me so when the chance to see the film
on the net came about, I could not resist this time I was a long time horror film fan. I really thought the film was brilliantly done and gave me that Late night insomniac watching movies
alone feel. I am not a big fan of the horror Counter Culture films except maybe this one and Don't Let Children Play with dead things. I think this film really is an Important gem in the horror
My first Jessica story happened when I was a small child. My parents had gone to a movie and left me with the babysitter. I watched a film with Janet Leigh called The Deadly Dream on TV.
The next day, I told my parents about the movie. They said it sounded like the previews they saw for a horror film before the movie they'd gone to see.
Turns out, that preview was for LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH. The first time I saw JESSICA was on television, during a network TV broadcast (I believe during prime time) in the 1970s.
I was immediately captivated by its mood and atmosphere. It still creeps me watching it today. Oh, and for years, while taking a bus along route 95 in Connecticut, I could always see what I
called the Jessica house visible near exit 67. Today, it's blocked from view by new construction. I hear it's still there, though
Today, it's blocked from view by new construction. I hear it's still there, though.
I first saw this amazing film around the spring of 1982, it aired on a local TV station one Saturday afternoon, and I was enthralled and fascinated!
I developed a crush on Dr. Freidman's wife, Maryclaire Costello, who has also been the schoolteacher on The Waltons - but in this film, she delivers both sexiness and creepiness!
The scene that really sent chills down my spine was the one where she comes out of the water - calmly, slowly, methodically - and tries to bite Jessica.
The scene where she sings Stay Forever is also memorizing - and that bloody T-bone steak that creeps Jessica out so much just makes me hungry!
I saw this film when it was first released, and it scared the hell out of me. I was 16 or 17 at the time. The film had a subtle cinema verite quality that distinguished it from the mainstream films of an
earlier generation, even though it was shot in color and natural light. It was that element of low-budget realism, more common to documentaries than mainstream films, that made it feel so real.
Zora Lampert (Jessica) is superb as a woman struggling to maintain her sanity, trying desperately to determine if she's really insane, as everyone around her seems to believe, including her
husband. Mental illness was a subject that was seldom ever dealt with realistically in those days. This film attempts to do that within the context of the horror genre, very successfully, I think. The
horror element works because the cast overall is so good, especially Lampert who's deep voice and unsettling mannerisms never feel like acting. Admittedly, I haven't seen it 40 years, in no
small part because it was genuinely disturbing. Time to finally go back for another look.
I had heard about this film from friends, peers, babysitters, et al., and being the HORROR/SCI FI fan that I am (THANKS MOM! I even still read myself to sleep with the works of E. A. Poe!) I thought
that this was "tailor made" for me... alas, it was deemed inappropriate for me to see in the theater back in 1971, as I was but a lad of 8 years old... a few years later while thumbing through the
sacred text (TV Guide) one day I noticed that it was due to air: Saturday at 9pm... perfect... Hallelujah!! I was early to the living room, attentive, scared, enthused, and after about 20 minutes...
"yawn"... I fell asleep... NOT BECAUSE I WAS BORED... I was just too tired... this was long before VCRs, rentals, the "net", etc. so... tough luck! When would it air again? (who knows)...
The "Guardian Of Forever" must take us to about 1990... I notice it in the video rental shop... "WOT?... Let's Scare Jessica To Death????"... my friends and I used to engage in what we called
"Hammer Horror" night once a week, and though not a release from that establishment, we agreed it would be a good view... uncut, unfettered by the corruption of commercial interruption, and
what do I experience? A horror film in the most purest form... a slow moving, eldritch, atmospheric, psychological thriller that still "packs a wallop"! It has a stellar set-up, characters we come to truly
care about, plenty of chills and thrills, and an apocalypse summoning finale! I never did "grok" the horror films that began to move into the graphic violence realm... late '70s offerings, and
beyond... I recall sitting in the theater confused, grossed out, unafraid, and stating "I don't want to be a surgeon!" Darren McGavin (yes, "Carl Kolchak") once put forth in an interview an excellent
summary of what horror should be (I'm paraphrasing, of course): true horror involves one being alone late at night and you hear an unusual and frightening sound... you go to investigate and
there's nothing there... you go back to what you were doing and then... you hear it again! "Jessica" is one of the most perfectly produced horror films I've ever seen, and it still raises as many
questions as it has frightening, atmospheric, eerie moments... Was it real? Was it her imagination? Her mental instability? Was it an elaborate conspiracy to "get her"? Was Abigail really a
vampire? No fangs... emerging in the daytime (although Dracula could come out in the daylight hours but with reduced power)... Was she some other kind of supernatural being? (the image of her
emerging from the water in her wedding dress still sends shivers!!)... Was it as simple as the "townfolk", under the guidance of Abigail, wanting to keep "outworlders" away? Did the director want
me to keep asking these questions after multiple viewings? Perhaps...
One review for this film that stood out called it a cross between "Carnival Of Souls" (Herk Harvey version) and "Night Of The Living Dead"... I was familiar with G. Romero's work, yet I was moved to
see the former film (that's another eerie, atmospheric gem of a movie!) based on that review...
In conclusion, if you've never seen "JESSICA",, and if you're a horror fan of the aforementioned attributes, treat yourself!
Jess... Duncan... Woody... Mr. Dorker... Emily/Abigail... and that girl with the scarf... great to have met you!
ONLY ONE COMPLAINT: No musical soundtrack... hopefully the "Guardian Of Forever" has some insights into that... BE WELL ALL! PEACE AND LONG LIFE!