Crowhaven Farm (1970)

Article #933 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-4-2003
Posting Date: 3-2-2004
Directed by Walter Grauman
Featuring Hope Lange, Paul Burke, Lloyd Bochner

A childless couple inherit a farm that used to serve as a meeting place for a coven of witches, and the woman begins to have an eerie feeling that she’s lived there in a past life.

This is a TV movie, and I have to admit that I’m not really a particular fan of the form. This movie illustrates some of the common problems I have with the TV movies; it is painfully blatant about setting up its foreshadowing (at one point, someone asks the wife if she thinks her husband is going to take down that gun hanging over the fireplace and shoot someone), and it overplays some of its emotional reactions quite badly (when the handyman carries the door out of the cellar into the kitchen, we see the wife turn and see it, look upset, have a flashback to the vision of the door in her nightmares, scream “Burn it! Burn it!”, drop a plate on the floor which then shatters, and then turn to us again just in case we hadn’t figured out that she was upset). My overall reaction to moments like these is that they thought I was too stupid to pick up on the clues and felt they had to deliver them wrapped around the head of a sledgehammer. On the positive side, though, since TV movies were under much of the same type of censorship that hovered over theatrical movies from the thirties to the fifties, they had to make the horrors themselves a little bit subtler, and that is something that this movie does accomplish. Thought the movie itself seems modeled somewhat after ROSEMARY’S BABY, it’s also a good thing that it’s telling a different story at heart, and it does have definite surprises in the plot. John Carradine is on hand here, but he really isn’t give much to do.

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