Summer of Fear

1978

Horror / Thriller

5
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 35%
IMDb Rating 5.5 10 1611

Synopsis


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July 29, 2018 at 03:54 AM

Director

Cast

Fran Drescher as Carolyn Baker
Linda Blair as Rachel Bryant
Lee Purcell as Julia Trent
Jeff East as Peter Bryant
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
805.01 MB
978*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 8 / 16
1.5 GB
1456*1072
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 10 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gridoon 5 / 10

Straightforward Craven thriller is not bad - for a TV movie

Linda Blair is this film's main draw today, but Lee Purcell is the real star of the show: at first I wasn't too sure about her, but she has the mysteriously seductive presence that her role calls for, and her performance literally gets better by the minute. This may be a Wes Craven movie, but it is also a TV movie, so it is rather tame in terms of sexuality and violence; there are few real surprises and few real thrills until the last 15 minutes and the (long awaited) catfight between Blair and Purcell. With its "evil stranger is disrupting the life of a normal happy family" plot, you could say that this film was ahead of its time; thrillers of this type didn't become popular until the early 90's, with "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and others like it. But one look at Linda's hair will convince you that it was NOT ahead of its time in other areas. In short, rent it but don't buy it. (**)

Reviewed by moonspinner55 8 / 10

Terrific TV thriller...

Lois Duncan's young-adult mystery novel "Summer of Fear" gets a fine, if low-budget, television treatment, capably directed by Wes Craven. Intriguing story features an appealing Linda Blair playing popular young woman and horse-rider whose family takes in her orphaned cousin--a perplexing girl who harbors secret evil powers. Craven's pacing is careful and sneaky, drawing the viewer in while mounting Blair's suspicions with just the right touch of creepy delicacy. Lee Purcell is excellent as cousin Julia, pulling off a showy role without lapsing into camp (although the make-up and special effects near the finish are somewhat cartoonish by today's standards). A compact thriller, very well done, and Blair--as always--is charming and makes her character easily identifiable to viewers.

Reviewed by Mr_Ectoplasma 7 / 10

Atypical Craven, and a fun television horror flick at that

Seeing that this was from legendary horror director Wes Craven, and starring Linda Blair (who served as the demon-possessed girl, Regan, in "The Exorcist"), I decided to give "Summer of Fear" a chance. I wasn't expecting a TV movie (which was titled "Stranger In Our House" during it's television run), but I actually ended up enjoying it.

The film centers around a teenage girl named Rachel. Rachel lives on a semi-secluded family farm in Northern California with her wealthy parents and siblings. When her mother's sister and brother-in-law die in a horrible car crash, their daughter, Julia, comes to live with them permanently. Julia seems somewhat normal, if not a little bit shy and withdrawn, but as time progresses, she puts an alluring spell over everyone she meets, and pulls all of Rachel's family and friends away from her. She begins getting close with Rachel's friends and her family, even stealing Rachel's boyfriend. After finding some strange items around the house (including burnt matches and a human tooth), Rachel discovers that Julia may be a practitioner of black magic. Now she must stop the evil witch before she launches her final assault.

Okay, okay. I have to admit, some things in this movie were a bit laughable, mostly Linda Blair's poofy, frizzed out hairdo. The acting was alright, not great, but you can't expect a whole lot from it. Linda Blair's performance was decent, if not a little whiny at times, Lee Purcell pulled off the 'mysterious cousin' archetype, and Fran Drescher even had a small role as one of Rachel's friends. The film isn't scary at all, but I will say the finale was pretty well done, although by today's standards the effects may seem a bit cartoonish. I found it interesting to see Craven directing a film of this nature in his earlier years, considering he had just done brutal horror films such as "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Last House on the Left".

To sum things up, I have to give "Summer of Fear" some credit— being a campy TV movie from the '70s, it has some chops. Although it lacked any substantial shocks or scares (except near the ending), I still found it to be a fun little piece of '70s nostalgia. Give it a look if you enjoy campy '70s horror, or if you want to see some of Craven's earlier work, because it is quite different from the films that he is most known for. All around good television terror. 7/10.

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