Let's Scare Jessica To Death (Hancock, 1971): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.15pm
Horror critic Kim Newman will launch an updated edition of his seminal work Nightmare Movies at BFI Southbank this evening and has chosen this film to celebrate the fact. Newman and fellow horror fan Mark Kermode will be talking about what makes a movie scary before a screening of the rarely seen cult favourite.
Here is an extract from Tom Fellows' review at the classichorror.com website:
That Let's Scare Jessica to Death should be overlooked as one of the finest horror pictures of the 1970s is apt. Lacking the guttural, attention grabbing scares of contemporaries Night of the Living Dead and Last House on the Left, the film is a more somber, subdued affair. Its autumnal light casts dark shadows and the rural farmhouse location becomes secondary to the inner landscape of a mentally unstable mind. Also Let's Scare Jessica to Death refuses the sensationalism usually associated with movie madness (no cannibal doctors or men dressed as their mothers here) and instead retreats inward, sharing whispered thoughts and ghostly warnings. Like its central protagonist, it is a movie that shyly refuses to draw attention to itself, but underneath lays insanity, sadness and startling beauty. A masterpiece.
Here is the trailer.