The Horror Honeys: The Scream You Can Hear is Your Own

The Scream You Can Hear is Your Own

A Supernatural Honey Retro Review by Suzanne

Fright (1971)

Babysitting is a dangerous gig. I did it for years and even when watching my little brother in our own home, I would get creeped out. We live in a 1700s farm house on a dead-end street in the country. Seriously. I'm sure a lot of that fear stemmed from seeing movies like When a Stranger Calls and Halloween. But before these two iconic movies had babysitters checking all the locks and closets, there was a little movie called Fright.

Amanda (Susan George) is hired to look after the young son of the Lloyds. Once alone, she sees faces appearing at the window and a mysterious stranger shows up. Brian (Ian Bannen) is not who he claims to be. It turns out that he is the psychotic ex-husband of Helen Lloyd (Honor Blackman). He has just escaped from a mental institution, where he was put away after attempting to kill Helen and the baby.

Once we've established who Brian is, he quickly descends into crazy when he starts talking to Amanda. He confuses her with his estranged wife, seeing Helen's face and saying her name. There is a particular scene in the nursery, when Brian wants to see the baby and Amanda, doing everything she can to protect the child, is nearly raped when he thinks he is getting intimate with Helen.

Several times, Amanda tries to escape with the baby, but Brian threatens to kill both of them. Even when Helen finally arrives with the police and Brian's doctor. 

From the jump there is something uncomfortable about the whole scenario. We have a big, creepy house in the English countryside, a blonde bombshell babysitter, and a legit scary guy. Scary because he initially comes off as normal when we first meet him, even though we know who he is.

One thing that was utterly fascinating was the calm demeanor of the child. This kid was really put through the ringer, not only having to pretend these actors were his parents, but often being held with a seemingly sharp object to his throat. He couldn't have been more than two and not once did he cry. Granted, he was the son of the film's director, but he seemed completely oblivious to the action going on around him.

Fright is very dated and there are far too many extreme close ups of British people with bad teeth, sweating and looking terrified. It may also not be quite as suspenseful as Stranger or Halloween but don't count it out. It has all the elements of a great thriller, so if you can get past the wardrobe and the set design, you're in for quite a ride. It's definitely a movie to watch with the lights off.


Supernatural Honey verdict: 3 stalkers out of 5