I had originally planned to watch Quills and review it for Supernatural Saturday Night. However, when I got into it I remembered that the movie was about The Marquis De Sade and his antics. It wasn’t scary and it wasn’t even creepy. It was unique to say the least but not even fitting for a paranormal article. Although, the psychological damage that the Marquis De Sade, played by Geoffrey Rush (Barbosa from Pirates of the Caribbean) inflicts on Kate Winslet, a chambermaid and Joaquin Phoenix who plays a young priest is interesting to say the least. If I remember correctly, Winslett’s character has a crush on the priest and The Marquis attempts to get the young priest to forsake his vow of chastity. The priest then removes all writing utensils due to the perversity of his writings, and then he begins to use any body fluid at his disposal to continue his deranged writings.
It’s a very unique movie and I really like it but it is not fitting for this article. I am a little behind this week as my break is over from grad school and as I am a Criminal Justice major, my organized crime professor has required several essays reviewing movies in which organized crime plays a considerable part.
Now since my opinion on horror remakes has been stated previously, I decided that Katie Cassidy and her co-stars did not due “Are You in the House alone?” justice. So instead I have decided to review the 1978 original version of Are you in the house Alone. The original cast has a couple well known stars; a very young, Dennis Quaid as the boyfriend of the star’s bff and Blythe Danner as the star’s mother.
While the remake has different people being dialed like in the Urban Legend and then killed or splatter movie killed as Rose McGowan says in Scream, the original is a little different and focuses on a girl named Gail who is being stalked. Of course, like most classic horror movies Gail is a babysitter, a favorite target for movie sickos and Urban Legend serial killers. Then again, I might be wrong because When A Stranger Calls, a classic horror movie which is a lot like Are You In the House Alone is very similar. Only, A Stranger stars the amazing Carol Kane. She can do just about anything from Grandma Addams in the 1990s version of the Addams Family, the Czech Nanny in Vin Diesel’s the Pacifier, among so many other movies.
“Are You in The House Alone,” is a 1978 psychological thriller that will keep you guessing. The actual story is told in the days before anti-stalking laws and rape shield laws were passed to protect the victims from two very violent crimes. Stalking uses psychological torture to impose fear before any actual violence is perpetrated on the victim. Gail, played by Kathleen Bellar is first seen in the hospital. She tells the doctor that she’s been raped but is afraid to tell them who did it because she doesn’t think people will believe her. Once the story unfolds, several people are held up to scrutiny as being the person who is stalking her. However, with this movie, I will not spoil the movie and name the killer.
The story actually opens on creepy letters cut from a magazine and posted on white paper. One movie called it “creepy serial killer letters” but it is a clichéd way that kidnappers would cut letters from a magazine and glue them to another in order to write their ransom note. The scene shows Gail on the floor of the home where she’s babysitting. She’s been attacked and then she’s being wheeled off to a waiting ambulance. After her statement about being raped, the movie actually is sent into a flashback so all the events unfold and lead up to the hospital scene again.
Gail’s best friend Allison sets her up with this guy that Gail thought was too good for her. He is actually a good guy and she falls in love with him. An ex-boyfriend starts making comments and is the poster boy for what the principal calls the stereotype of the boys in 1978, “they are all talk.” He makes comments but is mostly angry because she didn’t “put out.” Gail and her boyfriend are caught by her stalker at her family’s lake house making love. This causes the fixation to increase in intensity. The calls seem to be more frequently and of course the mom, Blythe Danner is having her own problems and is self-absorbed. At what point she claims that her daughter brought the rape onto herself and wailed about how her life was ruined because her daughter couldn’t keep her legs closed. Her husband and their attorney get all over her case and she claims its nerves. I don’t believe the attorney or the husband would ever forgive her but, that is the way people thought about rape victims then. Some still do.
Gail eventually goes back to school when her English teacher, a Russian lady, tells her that its wrong that criminals walk the street and their victims hide in their houses. They should be punished not the victim. I think its lucky for Gail’s classmate, Sonia, that she does go back to school because Gail and her boyfriend see her pull the same first note from her locker that Gail had received. Gail’s attacker had found a new victim. They set up a camera to try to take pictures of the person to prove that he was psycho. As it gets closer to the end, we find out the motive of the rapist and how he attempts to kill Gail to silence her but she fights back. Her boyfriend and another guy come running down the hall and fling the door open stopping the fight. He freezes, knowing that its no longer a he said/she said situation and he couldn’t claim she was a slut.
I think the scariest part of this psychological thriller is how the characters maybe fictional, it could very well happen. So many people have been stalked and murdered, Dominque Dunne, one of the stars of the original Poltergeist, was stalked and murdered by an ex-boyfriend. One of the characters on the 70s/80s show, “My Sister Sam,” was stalked and killed. There was a news lady who was stalked and killed. Even David Letterman had a stalker. Celebrities aren’t the only ones who have stalkers. Normal, everyday people can be stalked and attacked. It’s why I’m glad that our laws have changed. In fact, Gail, the character asks Jessica, the lady she babysits for, (who also becomes her lawyer to help her fight to get her rapist brought to justice, why she lost her case for rape because her rapist pled to the assault at school since two other boys caught him. If it would have just been Gail’s boyfriend, he could have spun that as he was lying for Gail. A second eyewitness negates he said/she said) why he could get away with it and why she would have been just as much on trial if not more than the actual rapist. Jessica’s answer, “Because the system is wrong.” The rapist still is free and actually enjoying life. Reminds me of the guy who was investigated for the disappearance of Natalie Hollaway. He was pegged as a person of interest and it seems almost as soon as he left Aruba, he was sent to Europe so he could ‘playboy’ around the countries that had no extradition to the United States. If he wasn’t somehow involved with her disappearance then why did he run? I may have inadvertently given away the movie, but at least you’ll be almost an hour in before you find out which rich kid in the movie is involved.