Theme Song: Violins and timpani drums that signal when you are supposed to react to the action on the screen.
Interesting Dated References: Non-computer generated Peter Cushing.
Best Line: 75% of the dialogue in Fear In The Night consists of distressed damsel Peggy (Judy Geeson, Inseminoid, Brannigan), shrieking, whining, and rambling on about being attacked.
Social Context: I’m sorry. I know people like Hammer Films, but I just can’t fucking get into them no matter how much I try. I’ve tried. Like, really tried. I watched this movie stone sober and was enjoying the scenery, but still lost interest about 30 minutes in. So whatever, the one person who bothers to comment will probably say something like, “You are an idiot and I hope you die,” which I’m fine with as I also hope I die. Here’s straight-forward analysis if you’re into it.
Summary: So Peggy is going to live with her new husband, Robert (Hammer mainstay Ralph Bates), at his weird job, which has the primary responsibility of hanging out at an empty boarding school for boys. Before she heads out on her trip, she is attacked at home by a shadowy figure with a prosthetic arm. There are some references to Peggy being a recovering mental case who is constantly distraught.
Once she arrives at the school, she meets the headmaster, Michael Carmichael (Cushing, Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues), who throughout the film is referred to as “Michael Carmichael.” Michael Carmichael also happens to have a prosthetic arm. Staying with Michael Carmichael is Michael Carmichael’s wife, Molly, played by Joan Collins (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas). Over the course of a few weeks, Peggy unravels, and eventually during a night alone, tries to shoot Michael Carmichael with a shotgun after Michael Carmichael pursues her through the abandoned school.
So the big reveal is Molly and Robert are having an affair. Robert intentionally married Peggy because he knew she was batshit crazy and thought he could get her to shoot Michael Carmichael.
Don’t you feel double-crossed? So then Michael Carmichael gets Robert to accidentally shoot Molly, and in turn, Michael Carmichael hangs Robert from a tree. Oh, and somewhere in there it was revealed Michael Carmichael was also crazy and the boarding school was closed, yet he insisted it be kept up, complete with sound effects of school children.
– The setting of the boarding school and the surrounding grounds are very picturesque and well filmed. If I wasn’t a dissatisfied asshole I would have posted some photos.
– Aside from some background walk-ons during a bus stop scene, there are only eight actors in this entire movie, and ¼ of them have character names that are numbered policemen (“1st Policeman,” “2nd Policeman).
– This is the most terribly-written post on this blog, ever.
Poster and Box Art: More photos of Peggy shrieking.
Availability: There’s a 21-disc set of Hammer films. Can you imagine the pompous ass who sits for hours watching all those movies as their life slips away?