Summer of Fear (1978)
Director: Wes Craven
Main Stars: Linda Blair, Lee Purcell, Jeremy Slate
Storyline: A young girl’s cousin comes to her house for the summer and she suspects her of being a witch.
Review (Spoils): Also known as “A Stranger in Our House” this film deals with a young Rachel (Linda Blair) who is having a hard time dealing with her cousin moving in with her family. The cousin, Julia (Lee Purcell), who has nowhere to go after her parents were killed in a car crash, is trying to fit in. Through time Rachel starts to suspect that there is more to Julia then she claims. She uses spells to enchant people to like her and pull away from Rachel (including her own boyfriend). Rachel tries everything in her own power to reveal the black magic of Julia leading to the final confrontation.
The special effects are a little lame but then again it is a made for TV film. You might be overcome by the hair of Linda Blair as it might be scary then the witch itself. Lee Purcell does a great job playing the villain and she made it believable even with the cheesy effects. Too me, the ending was one of the horror scenes that have stuck in my mind since I was a kid watching it for the first time.
Rating: Don’t expect a ton of scares but think of this as a made for TV thriller that has witches, black magic, jealously, crazy eyes and the classic darkroom scene. It is worth checking out if you haven’t as this film is underrated for an ok 80s flick.