Silent Scream

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Movie Info

Several college students take rooms in an old house where a grisly and still-unsolved murder was committed years earlier.

Cast & Crew

Rebecca Balding
Scotty Parker
Cameron Mitchell
Lt. Sandy McGiver
Barbara Steele
Victoria Engels
Denny Harris
Director
Michael D. Murphy
Cinematographer

Critic Reviews for The Silent Scream

All Critics (1) | Rotten (1)

  • The Silent Scream is something less than a classic of its genre, but still manages to be worth a look for aficionados of the era's horror films.

    June 11, 2012 | Rating: 43/100 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Silent Scream

  • May 13, 2013
    Obscured Slasher film is a good little shocker, but one that relies on the traditional genre formula in order to create the carnage on-screen. What we have here is a film that is entertaining, but doesn't break new ground and it is predictable. Diehard Slasher fans will certainly love this one, especially if you enjoy obscured, forgotten horror films, Silent Scream is for you. The kills are well done, and there is a steady build up to the first murders, which gives the film a tense atmosphere. Even if it's not a perfect film, this is a must see for genre fans, and it works as mindless entertainment. While relying on the traditional genre elements, Silent Scream is still one of those obscured gems that will delight fans even if it's predictable. The performances are decent at best, but the strength of the film lies in its kill sequences which are well thought out and will certainly put you on the edge of your seat. If you love films like this, give this one a shot, but it does leave room for improvement and it is a film clearly has its limitations, but manages to be an entertaining Slasher yarn due to the fact that the film has good sequences of murder and a few tense moments. As a whole, it's not the worst in the genre, but is not the best either. As obscured Slashers are concerned, this one delivers, but it could have been rewritten to expand on its interesting ideas that the director tried to convey. Silent Scream is a must for genre fans but if you're keen on low budget shockers, then this one is not for you. Still for all its imperfections, it's an entertaining ride from start to finish and I had fun watching the film. I simply wish that the script could have be revised and its ideas refined to make this one truly standout.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    A pretty good story, it's more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie, like I thought it was, but if you're a fan of Barbara Steele you'll enjoy seeing her in this, as I did.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2009
    <div style="width:310px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/silent-scream-13623353"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/13/62/33/13623353_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> <div style="width:310px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/silent-scream-13623351"><img src="http://content9.flixster.com/photo/13/62/33/13623351_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> <div style="width:310px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/silent-scream-13623349"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/13/62/33/13623349_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:310px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/silent-scream-13623356"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/13/62/33/13623356_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> <div style="width:310px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/silent-scream-13623359"><img src="http://content9.flixster.com/photo/13/62/33/13623359_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> <div style="width:310px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/silent-scream-13623354"><img src="http://content8.flixster.com/photo/13/62/33/13623354_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> <I>The Silent Scream</I></div></div> <I>THE SILENT SCREAM</I> (1980) WRITTEN BY: Wallace C. Bennett and Denny Harris. rewritten by Jim and Ken Wheat DIRECTED BY: Denny Harris GENRE: HORROR FEATURING: Barbara Steele, Rebecca Balding, Cameron Mitchell, Yvonne De Carlo, Brad Reardon, and Avery Schreiber TAGS: slasher PLOT: College students rent rooms in a mysterious mansion by the beach only to find that the landlords are a tad invasive. COMMENTS: <I>The Silent Scream</I> is a dated relic of the "Unusual '80's" horror movie phenomenon. The 1980's produced a glut of highly conventional, large-draw slasher flicks such as <I>Friday The 13th</I> and the <I>Halloween</I> sequels. The decade also produced a couple of dozen unusual and distinctive efforts such as <I>Fade To Black</I>, <I>My Bloody Valentine</I>, <I>Grandma's House</I>, and <I>Motel Hell</I>. Odd films like these dwell on a darker, more rarefied level, one that hasn't been visited much in the intervening years. Newly released on DVD after 29 years, <I>The Silent Scream</I> is a noteworthy entry in this later category of period horror. Until last year it had been lost in the mysterious, silvery mists of screen-scream antiquity. Barbara Steele stars as the villain in this dated '80's American-made shocker. Good character development, strong performances, and relatively little gore distinguish this effort from the usual slasher fare. Here's the setup: Cute and saucy Scotty Parker (Balding) transfered to her university a couple of weeks late and missed out on the fun of bunking with a bunch of freaks she doesn't know in the dorms. Challenged to find accommodations. she gravitates toward the old Engels house, a foreboding, sea-side edifice. The creepy Engels place is run on behalf of his <I>very</I> reclusive MOTHER! (De Carlo). by a wrapped-awfully-tight, real-life Milhouse Van Houten character named Brad (Reardon). Brad is harboring a wide variety of deeply seated personal issues. (Hey, who's that looking through my air vent?) Three more hormonally bloated students sign rental agreements and the school year is off to a beer and bodily fluid saturated start. For most of them that is. The fratboy-playboy ass-wipe character barely gets out of the starting gate before he is found filleted rather than <I>fellated</I> on the beach, A psycho is roaming the dunes. Worse yet, there is something sinister going on in the Engels House, something really F ' D-UP in the attic. SOMETHING TERRIBLE!!!!! Creepy 50's music is mysteriously wafting down through the air vents, and who's burning that light bulb up there and thumping around at night? The cops show up and an erstwhile detective (Mitchell) starts keeping an eye out the desolate beach. But with more secret passages, hollow walls, trap doors and concealed rooms than H.H. Holmes' Chicago Murder Castle the real danger, don't cha know, may be creeping through the crumbling walls of the old mansion itself. <I>The Silent Scream</I> is variously reminiscent of <I>The Unnameable</I> (1988), <I>The Shuttered Room</I> AKA <I>Blood Island</I> (1967), <I>Black Christmas</I>, (1974), <I>American Gothic</I> ( 1987), <I>Psycho</I> (1960), and <I>Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II</I>, (1987). With plot elements of all of these movies, <I>The Silent Scream</I> could be an unremarkable horror yarn, but instead it manages to add a fresh twist to the genre, and establishes itself as one of the more memorable 'old scary house at the top of the lonely hill' type movies. While not the bloodiest '80's slasher piece, <I>The Silent Scream</I> offers genuine tension with a distinctive and offbeat feel. There's plenty of atmosphere for a small budget (but well-produced) '80's horror flick and a few stylishly shot, memorable scenes that will stick with you. (And yes it is a "flick" in very since of the word. No, not a film, a <I>flick</I>. Write that down.) Not so much a horror story as a thriller about a seriously dysfunctional family, <I>The Silent Scream's</I> plot falls a bit short in that it misses out on some chances to include more twists and turns, but it's still a good ride for nostalgic '80's horror fans. PRODUCTION NOTES: Barbara Steele is noted for her Giallo and Euro-thriller characters among other types of roles. Despite Yvonne De Carlo's tremendous body of dramatic work, viewers may remember her best for her role as Lily Munster in <I>The Munsters</I> television series. Cameron Mitchell appeared in numerous horror and thriller films in the 1980's and Rebecca Balding may be familiar to audiences from her part as "Trish" in <I>The Boogens</I> (1981) as well as for a gigantic volume of television work. Jim and Ken wheat are the writer/producers behind films such as <I>A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Pitch Black, The Fly II</I> and <I>The Birds II</I>. <I>The Silent Scream</I> was first filmed in 1977 by Denny Harris. The original project was scrapped, then picked up and reproduced by Jim and Ken Wheat who constructed new sets around fifteen minutes of salvageable footage filmed at the original location house. A more appropriate house in Highland Park was used for the exterior shots in the re-shoot. <div style="width:310px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/silent-scream-13623334"><img src="http://content8.flixster.com/photo/13/62/33/13623334_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> As a side note, <I>The Silent Scream</I> is one of the first horror movies to use CGI editing techniques. According to old timers (those antiquated souls who were coming of age in the 1980's) "everyone wondered how they did that." Apparently general audiences weren't that computer savvy in the nearly pre-silicon, medieval 1980's. Utilized in establishing shots under the opening credits, the CGI created the illusion that the action in each frame was halted abruptly for a moment and frozen in time. This same result was achieved with freezes during the opening credits in the 1979 Chuck Pierce film, <I>The Evictors</I>. In that instance good old fashioned film lab printing techniques were applied to frames in the opening sequence to give a sense of antiquity to the past events they portrayed, and to emphasize the significance of those shots to the plot's subsequent events. Today, CGI editing is overused and abused so much that we take it for granted. Thanks to the newly established company, Scorpion Releasing, <I>The Silent Scream</I> has been re-released on DVD in high definition after 30 years of obscurity (as "<I>Silent Scream</I>, not "<I>THE Silent Scream</I>"). The soundtrack has been remixed in true 5.1 and 2.0 stereo, with bonus featurettes, audio commentary and interviews. <div style="width:120px;font-size:10px;text-align:center;"></div><a href="http://www.flixster.com/videos?videoId=11113113"><img src="http://i.ytimg.com/vi/gKRp1FXQSgc/2.jpg" border="0" /></a><div style="font-size:10px;width:120px;text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"><I>SIlent Scream</I></a> - trailer</div>
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 28, 2007
    "Silent Scream" is a great atmospheric 1980 slasher film released the same great summer as "The Shining", "Friday the 13th" and "The Empire Strikes Back", which is probably why it became so forgotten. Apparently it was released on VHS for a limited time, but it took me 27 years to finally find a copy to view. This needs a DVD release. The opening credits still felt very 70's with a police car driving towards the camera, and officers rushing into an old house to find a series of bodies. It doesn't make much sense until the end of the movie, when we can say "duh" to the movie makers for revealing essentially nothing significant. A cool premise: a group of college kids move to an Oceanside old mansion on a cliff, owned by a mysterious old lady and her peculiar son. There is also something creepy and murderous lurking deep within the walls of the house, watching them. I liked when the killer is watching one of the girls through a ceiling vent in her bedroom. One by one, the youth would meet up with their doom. The killings, though few, are quite shocking and blood-soaked. Most of the characters were likeable. The one annoying guy didn't last very long. The movie drops a notch halfway through when the killer's identity is revealed and shown onscreen too much. There were a few nice twists in the final act which were a lot of fun. The movie has a really good musical score, with screeching instruments and suspense building cues. There's a great scene where one of the vicious killings is viewed through the slats of the wall boards. Another good scene has a victim hiding herself in a bedroom closet while the killer repeatedly thrusts a sharp knife through the door frame. It's got that great 80's slasher feel.
    Lafe F Super Reviewer

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