The Silent Scream - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Silent Scream Reviews

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July 17, 2010
As far as late 70s/early 80s slasher films go, this one isn't too bad, compared to some of the crap that came out around then. An incoming college student is looking for a place to live, finds a creepy house on the beach to stay, people start to die, etc. A couple decent deaths, entertaining ending, but I really could have done without the stupid side story of the two detectives trying to track the killer, they were just dull and really shouldn't have been there. There are better ones out there, but this one's not too bad.
February 16, 2010
Considering the original first cut was "unwatchable", it's remarkable that the Wheat brothers rewrote and redid pretty much the entire movie to make it a fun and nasty slasher film. Too bad it was forgotten about in the long run. 4 college students stay at an old house on the top of a hill, where the Engel family rent out the rooms. But there are some fucked up things going on with the Engel family....

It's not overly nasty like some other films of its time, and it doesn't have jumpy scares either. But it does have the B-movie atmosphere, bad expository dialogue, Barbara Steele, lots of knife wounds and stabbings, and a great title too.
February 10, 2010
Nostalgic 1980 slasher flick is an effective little chiller that may seem cheezy by today's standards...and to a degree it's true... but is still an entertaining flick even without the nostalgic element.
½ December 12, 2009
The Silent Scream is a lost 80's horror slasher gem that has finally seen the light of day on glorious DVD for horror fans to behold its simplistic set up of college girl Rebecca Balding (The Boogens) who lucks out when she finds a beach front mansion where a reclusive mother (The Munsters' Yvonne De Carlo) and her creepy son (Brad Rearden) rent out a room to her and 3 other college students. Before the kids can even start classes, they are picked off one by one by an unknown assailant with a very big kitchen knife while two detectives (Toolbox Murder's Cameron Mitchell and comedian Avery Schreiber) are on the case. So, who's doing all the killing? Could it be one of the college students? Could it be the creepy family? Could it be the long-forgotten sister/daughter (Barbara Steele) of the creepy family? The identity doesn't take long to be revealed, and if you aren't a moron, any horror fan can figure it out in just a little while of viewing the film, as the twists are carried out a bit differently in the final climax of this underrated horror gem. A fun an quirky cast (especially Steele in an iconic role) highlight this simple, yet tense film. A great watch for any horror fan.
½ September 19, 2009
Sorta a lost slasher from the 80s that I hadn't heard of until recently & was excepting perhaps a diamond in the rough. Not so the case but Silent Scream (that title always reminds me of the Slayer song..Crucify the bastard that would have been a movie) as it takes its sweet time introducing characters & playing eerie music that something terrible is going to befall. I have to admit (the few there are) the kills are startling but I pretty well knew how the climax was going to play out (they showed you snippets during the opening credits) including who the killer was (but not the twist)...An extra 1/2 * though for having Avery Schreiber in the cast making me hungry for Doritos & featuring Olympia Beer (damn I need to get me a taste of some Olympia someday)
½ November 21, 2008
Super classy early slasher offering with game performances by the amazing cast. There's lots of fun twists and turns and some surprisingly violent murders to keep the viewer's interest. Silent Scream has lots to reccomend, but it might test the patience of those who are put off by a slow pace.

A must for horror/thriller/mystery fans.
June 30, 2008
If someone has a link to a torrent for this, tell me.
March 16, 2008
recommended by a friend of mine. so i should probably check it out.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 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.
September 25, 2006
The set-up for [i]Silent Scream[/i] would seem to place it firmly in slasher movie territory. A group of four students, all strangers, move into a boarding house run by an awkward teenager and his elderly mother, then the kids start getting killed off. It's no wonder that it was dismissed as one when released in 1980, just as the slasher genre was starting to peak. But [i]Silent Scream[/i] owes a lot more to [i]Psycho[/i] than [i]Friday the 13th[/i], and while it's not a perfect film by any means, it's a reasonable enough psychothriller.

Rebecca Balding plays Scotty, a new student who ends up renting a room (for $50 a month!) after failing to find a place on campus. In charge of the place seems to be antisocial teen Mason (Brad Engels), who warns the residents to keep away from his mother (Yvonne DeCarlo), who doesn't talk to anyone and seldom leaves the attic. The other boarders are a trio of college kids, including a love interest, a female best friend type and a rich guy. The group of students gets along well, but after their first night out drinking, one of them is found dead on the beach.

Standard psychothriller twists emerge, as police detectives Cameron Mitchell and Avery Schreiber pop in and out to generally try to figure out what the hell's going on at the house. It may have something to do with the woman living in what seems to be the walls, played by the ever-beautiful Barbara Steele in her only '80s film. Eventually another body turns up, secrets are revealed, and the expected title yelp emerges.

There's nothing particular original or unique about [i]Silent Scream[/i], but it still manages to be an entertaining time-passer. While much of this can be credited to the cast, some of it has to be the writing, which manages to be crisper and more natural than most films of this type. The characters are actually relatively believable and the dialogue mostly comes off as natural conversation rather than blunt attempts to define the characters. Having such a minimal cast probably helped, and the more relaxed feel to the relationships can excuse really odd moments, like the love interest suggesting to Scotty that they go to the beach--[i]the day after one of their roommates was murdered there[/i]. (Note to guys: Ladies do not view a friend's murder site as a great date location.)

Director Denny Harris keeps most of the action inside the house, lending it a nicely claustrophobic tone that's only occasionally disrupted by the adventures of the prattling cops. It manages to be sufficiently eerie and at times even racks up some genuine suspense, and since the characters are actually well-written, the death sequences have some impact. It's a shame that the last-act revelation isn't really all that shocking, thus slightly nullifying the conclusion, because everything up to then builds things up rather well.

Lost in the slasher movie boom, [i]Silent Scream[/i] isn't exactly a lost classic, but it's certainly better than its' obscurity would suggest. It's actually one of the better low-budget horror films of the era, and any movie that gives Yvonne DeCarlo and Barbara Steele a chance to chew the same scenery has got to be at least worth a look.
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