| 116 MINS | COLOUR |
Ben and Marian Rolf, along with their son David and aunt Elizabeth, rent a Victorian mansion in the California countryside. The owners of the house are the Allardyces, and they inform the new tenants that as a requirement for the rental, they must share the house with their elderly mother who lives in an upstairs room. They explain that their mother is obsessed with her privacy and that they must leave food outside her door during their stay.
Accidents soon start to occur whilst they are in the house including the suspicious death of Aunt Elizabeth. Marian becomes increasingly obsessed by the house as Ben becomes more and more depressed. Could it be that the house is exerting a malevolent influence over its occupants?
Ben decides to leave the house with his family. Marian goes back in the house to tell Mrs Allardyce that they are leaving. When she fails to return, Ben goes inside the house to find her. Failing to find her, he decides to confront Mrs Allardyce. Ben is shocked to discover that Marian has somehow become Mrs Allardyce. Ben is propelled from the attic window landing on his car's windshield. At this, David, in shock, runs towards the house and is killed by a falling chimney.
In the final scene, the voices of the Allardyces are heard, joyous over the return of their mother. Around the house are pictures of various people, including those of Marian, Ben, David and Aunt Elizabeth.
Allmovie: Underrated chiller worthy of rediscovery.
RottenTomatoes: The photography is suitably moody, and haunted-house cliches are used to good effect.
HorrorExpress: Faithful adaption of Robert Marasco's novel, and strengthened by great performances and better than average script.
Arnold Allardyce: Oh yes, and this house will be here long, long after you have departed. You'll believe me.