Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
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I really liked it. It was slightly slow going, but never bored me. The leading lady was amazing, always love a good insanity film.
Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a title that implies some collusion, but it may only be on the part of the film makers. It's an odd title that may lead you astray as you try to decipher just what's happening, or is perhaps the ultimate (but unconfirmed, and too convoluted) key to unlock the film's mysteries. Without going into that third explanation, the film is about Jessica (Zohra Lampert) coming to a farm with her husband and friend to live a simpler life after 6 months in a sanitarium. And so, are the horror elements really happening, or is it all in her mind? The film keeps the ambiguity up for a long time, even after you think you've figured it out, because its point of view is unreliable. Extreme close-ups on Lampert's face and whispers on the soundtrack keep us in her head, and wow, what a performance. Incredibly naturalistic and engaging. Never felt like I was watching an actress. Let's Scare Jessica works as a drama about a woman losing her grip on reality just when she thought she was getting better, and it works as a mystery, a thriller, or Southern Gothic, and a horror film, depending on how you interpret what you're seeing.
This is a film that would have benefited if it committed more to the underlying strangeness a little more. While not without a few moments of genuine creepiness, the rest of the film doesn't really provide the viewer with anything to latch on to. It all leads to a title which is far more exciting than the film itself, unfortunately.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!