Rounding off on my 70s horror trilogy is Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, which is perhaps a better title than it is a film.
Jessica and her husband Duncan buy a house in the sticks so that Jessica can get away from New York City and an unpleasant past to rebuild her life in the peace and quiet that only a small town filled with freaks can provide.
Upon arriving Jess, Duncan and friend Doug, who is helping with the move, discover their new home is filled with old furnishings, curios, pictures and a hippie squatter named Emily…
As it is the free thinking 70s (I guess) rather than send the freeloader out onto the cold they invite Emily to stay around for a while until she is ready to leave, and the foursome spend a few pleasant nights in each others company.
In the next few days they all clean up the place and take some of the knick-knacks and furnishings into town to sell, where they face almost uniform resentment and barely veiled animosity from the locals.
Jessica still seems to have her own insecurities and doubts. Perhaps as a result of the surroundings or maybe due to earlier events, she runs her own internal dialogue, justifying her actions and speculating at the thoughts of others. Worse still she starts seeing and
hearing things that no-one else seems to be privy to.
This is only inflamed when she discovers that a local girl was apparently drowned in the lake near their home, and that there were rumours of vampirism in the area. That’s a lot to take on board even for the reasonably sane.
- Why do the locals mistrust them so?
- Who is the young girl in white that only Jessica seems to see?
- Why can’t she – or won’t she – talk?
- Why do all the locals have obvious scars and bandages on them?
- Why does the old timey photo in the attic seem to have a girl who is the spitting image of Emily?
- Where did Emily get that dress that looks exactly the same as the one in the photo?
With all this stuff going on and all these questions running through your head it is no wonder that Jessica starts to question her own sanity.
In fact having seen the film and knowing how it ends I am pretty much none the wiser myself. The only thing I am sure of is that I am not sure.
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is a film that doesn’t try to feed you the answers on a platter, and if it does it sucks at it. You can choose to find it a dreamy ethereal journey that raises questions about reality and possible delusion, or you could flat out say ‘it’s boring and
I’ve seen too many truly bad horror movies to make that claim, but there’s a 99.5% chance that Let’s Scare Jessica to Death will leave you more nonplussed than fearful for your own safety and sanity.
Final Rating – 5 / 10. I’d stay on the fence and just cop to not ‘getting it’, but even if I did it still isn’t that interesting to begin with.