THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1975)
Article 4072 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Peter Collinson
Featuring Jacqueline Bisset, Christopher Plummer, John Phillip Law
What it is: Suspense remake
A serial killer is on the loose knocking off women with handicaps. Is the woman who can’t speak (due to psychological blockage caused by the death of her husband and daughter) the next victim?
The 1946 version of this story is a suspense classic; this one could be used as a poster child for those who argue that they shouldn’t remake classics. It’s got several decent actors trying to do their best, but the script is clumsy and overwritten, and the direction is sodden and dull. It’s the type of movie that, instead of tingling your spine, it just sits on your head till you find yourself wishing that the movie would just go away and leave you alone. This is not a high point in British cinema.