Here's one that most of you probably haven't heard of. It's flown under the radar for a long time, but it recently came out on DVD, so now you have no excuse not to see it. Let's Scare Jessica To Death(1971) isn't a gut-filled gorefest, but a creepy, disturbing little film that works it's way under your skin. Jessica is a young gal who recently had a mental breakdown and spent some time in the sanitarium. She, her husband, and their pal all move to a house in the country, to escape the stress-filled landscape of New York to help Jessica recouperate. They aren't exactly welcomed in the small town, but they like the house and the farm it's on. When they arrive at their new home, they discover a squatter named Emily there. They invite her to stay.
Not long after they've moved in, Jessica starts to experience some weird things. Is she going crazy again, or is there more to it? Are there really evil happenings in this quiet little town? Is Emily not what she appears to be?
The film does a good job in creating an eerie, dream-like atmosphere, and at first you're not sure if the strange occurances are actually happening or are delusions from a still-unstable Jessica's mind.
As I stated earlier, the gore and blood is minimal, but how the film gets you is with its quiet, dread-filled atmosphere. And, like I said about the other films I've discussed, it's a70's film, so all bets are off as to who, if anyone, survives. For some reason, I'm drawn to the horror films with downbeat endings. I find it more entertaining to watch this kind of film than your typical Hollywood flick, where when you see a certain character, you know that they're going to survive 'till the end of the movie. This didn't happen much in the 70's and 80's. I find it keeps things less predictable. Even the big films from back then, like the Post-Apocalyptic Charlton Heston Trifecta Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, and Omega Man...all these had pretty downbeat endings, even if the main character did make it to the end of the film.
The actors all do a pretty good job, especially for a low-budget flick . I first saw this on TV years ago as a kid, and recently saw it again, and it's still a spooky cinematic gem. If you're looking for something a bit different for your scare film viewing this season, give this one a try. I think you may like it.