John Russell (George C.Scott), a music composer from New York suffers the tragedy of losing his wife and only child. He moves to Seattle to take a job at his Alma mater as a faculty member and moves into a Victorian mansion owned by the Historical Society. The house has a troubled spirit of a boy that leads Russell, along with his new found friend Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere), into solving a fatal mystery.
This is a GREAT ghost story. The movie moves slow, allowing the tension to grow with the mystery, and the cinematography was incredible. There is a “The Shining” feel to this film and writer Russell Hunter claimed it was based on events he experienced at the Henry Treat Rogers mansion in Denver, Colorado in the 1960s. There are no real “jump scenes” in this one but some great directing to build fear. A seance scene was one of the scariest. Director Peter Medak made a bouncing ball build a bit of terror much like James Wan did with a toy fire truck in The Conjuring II.
This is the perfect “haunted house” ghost story movie and would be great to add to your Halloween playlist on a yearly basis. George C. Scott was incredible, as he was in all of his movies, and his real life wife Trish Van Devere was an amazing scream Queen co-star.
Highly recommend this timeless classic throwback.