This early Spielberg directed TV movie features a TV advertising exec (Darren McGavin) move into a country farm with his hippy drippy New Age wife (Sandy Dennis). But strange things start to occur shortly afterwards.

I first saw this when it aired on UK television in the early 80’s. It scared the pants off me. Is it still scary to a cynical old man of 44?

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The simple answer is YES! It still packs a punch and the tone and direction are flawless.

Theres a creeping, building sense of malevolence that runs through the whole movie that is palpable and builds to a genuinely terrifying ending.

I love the fact that Spielberg gently sends up the fashionable pop-psychology and oh so self aware mysticism that was so hip in the 70’s.

There are plenty of scares to be had- the sound of a child crying at night, the demonic jam-jars (yes, really) that are discovered in the barn, the presence of something genuinely malevolent in the house that changes not only the young son but Mrs ‘Move To The Country’ herself as in one scene we see her beat her son for disobeying her orders.

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This is wayyy too unsettling for what should have been a pretty bland and pedestrian romp made for network television. Spielberg was obviously on a roll when he directed this as he had just made the masterpiece Duel.

I hope whatever limbo this title is in disappears so that we get a great Blu ray release sometime soon.

4 out of 5 stars

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