Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 11th, 2008
Arthur Kennedy and wife Teresa Wright are an older childless couple who discover a young man (Tom Happer) living in the crawlspace of their basement. Though they are initially alarmed, he seems harmless, and they take him under their wing. What seems to be a nice, if bizarre, solution for everyone becomes tense when Happer, tormented by locals, shows a potential for great violence.
This release from Wild Eye in their TV Movie Terror Collection is a much stronger entry than The Devil’s Daughter. Rather than highlight the limitations of television when it comes to horror, the film plays to the medium’s strengths. The tone is low-key and character-driven, and off-kilter in just the right sort of way to generate a nice current of unease. Happer is a disturbing figure, but he’s also sympathetic, much in the same vein as the Frankenstein monster.
This is TV from 1972, and one can certainly tell. The mono soundtrack has its share of static, though the dialogue is perfectly clear throughout. Though unspectacular, the sound is certainly decent, and given the vintage, I don’t think we could reasonably expect much more.
This release looks much better than The Devil’s Daughter. Its blacks aren’t perfect, but they aren’t red, which was often the case with the other DVD. The colours aren’t completely stable, either, there is grain, guitar strings and other damage and the image can be quite soft. Still, the picture quality is watchable, and the usual cautions about the age of the source material apply. It doesn’t look great, but it gets by.
Easily one of the better 70s horror/psychological thrillers to turn up on TV.