The Silent Scream (1980)

Article 3106 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-24-2009
Posting Date: 2-14-2010
Directed by Denny Harris
Featuring Rebecca Balding, Cameron Mitchell, Avery Schreiber
Country: USA
What it is: PSYCHO variant

Four college students take rooms in a mansion on the edge of town, a place inhabited by a reclusive woman and her son. However, there’s a third resident in the mansion, and this one has a homicidal streak…

I have to admit being impressed by the cast, which includes Cameron Mitchell, Yvonne De Carlo, Avery Schreiber and Barbara Steele. If I were to pick acting honors from this group, it would definitely go to Steele, who gives the most mesmerizing performance here, but I would have to point out that none of the other three have really interesting roles. As stated above, it’s more of a PSYCHO variant than a slasher movie. It’s a mixed bag overall; it has some effectively creepy scenes, one memorable jump-out-of-your-seat moment, and, thanks to an interesting story structure, it builds up to a suspenseful conclusion. On the down side, it never really develops the important characters as much as it should, choosing rather to spend much of its running time with the antics of the teens in the movie; this is noticeable towards the end when we encounter twists and backstories that we’ve never been adequately prepared for. Still, it works just enough for it to be worth watching.


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