Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

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Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
John D. Hancock, 1971
USA | Format: 16mm | 89 minutes

"I sit here and can’t believe it happened. And yet I have to believe it. Dreams or nightmares? Madness or sanity? I don’t know which is which."

Spoken in somber voiceover by the titular Jessica (Zohra Lampert), these cryptic words are the first we hear in the film—they pull us in immediately and we never stop being transfixed by the creepy events that lead up to them. Following a recent stint in a mental hospital, Jessica has relocated to the Connecticut countryside with her husband and a friend from New York City to find some peace. But they sure picked the wrong farmhouse to live in! They arrive to find an alluring young squatter there—who, as it turns out, bears an uncanny resemblance to a woman who lived there centuries earlier, and who, as legend goes, drowned and now walks the grounds as a vampire. A series of strange occurrences begin, but only Jessica, who may or may not be unraveling again, seems to witness them. With its eerie use of water imagery and of the great outdoors in general, this unnerving film defines moody.

Series: Scary Movies 7

Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

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