Tuesday, July 7, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW: Summer of Fear

To begin my summer goal of movie watching, I chose the aptly named Summer of Fear (1978), directed by Wes Craven and starring Linda Blair post-Exorcist. Oh and a pre-Nanny Fran Drescher.

I bought this movie quite awhile ago but was wary of watching it because of all the negative reviews I read for it. But I was actually pleasantly surprised. I guess it just goes to show that you shouldn't listen to reviews. Except mine...

Summer of Fear isn't really a horror movie, I would call it a supernatural thriller. It was probably labeled horror because it involves witchcraft and was directed by horror master Wes Craven.

Based on the young adult book of the same name by Lois Duncan (writer of the novel I Know What You Did Last Summer), Summer of Fear tells the story of Rachel and her odd cousin Julia. Julia comes to live with Rachel after her parents are killed in a car crash. Several horrible events occur after Julia moves in, leading Rachel to believe that she's a witch, but of course no one believes her.

The beginning of this movie reminded me a bit of The Craft because Julia used witchcraft to achieve petty high school goals. Like stealing Rachel's boyfriend and making Rachel's dress for the dance no longer fit, but look perfect on her. But eventually she moves onto more serious things, like killing people.

Rachel, played by Linda Blair, was one of the strongest horror movie heroines I've ever seen. She suspects there's something wrong with Julia from the beginning and won't give up until she proves that Julia's a witch. Even though everyone thinks she's crazy and Julia keeps putting obstacles in her way.

The plot moves along quickly, but there's no gore and very few deaths. And there are a few lame scenes, like Julia's crazy eyes, for instance. But I still enjoyed it and thought it was a pretty good thriller.

Rating: 4/5

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