Night Cries (1978)

Article 5068 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-2-2016
Directed by Richard Lang
Featuring Susan Saint James, Michael Parks, Jamie Smith-Jackson
Country: USA
What is it: Psychological or psychic?

After losing her daughter at childbirth, a woman finds herself plagued by nightmares about her baby being alive, and she starts becoming distant from her husband. She finally decides to see a psychiatrist who specializes in dreams, but are the dreams merely symbolic… or is her baby still alive?

This is a strong and intriguing TV-Movie which gets a great deal of its power from a strong performance by Susan Saint James as the distraught mother. Given that my series revolves around movies with fantastic content, I’m naturally drawn to the hope that there is a psychic element to the dreams. However, James’ performance as a woman who is haunted by painful repressed memories and who is in denial is so compelling that I found myself really hoping for a psychological explanation to the dreams, at least to find out what skeletons there are in her (literal) closet. At any rate, I’m glad that the movie ends up pulling off a nice trick by recognizing that two different explanations may not necessarily be mutually exclusive. The movie also has a nice performance from William Conrad as the psychiatrist. I quite liked this one.


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