"I think of horror films as art, as films of confrontation."

- David Cronenberg

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February 15, 2013

Flicks: Let's Scare Jessica To Death (1971)

The cursed New England countryside becomes an ideal setting for crumbling sanity and roaming phantoms.

What bleak terrors could move the human heart in such a way as to declare a picture "The Scariest Movie Ever Made"? In 2006, the Chicago Film Critics Association, racked by the horror of a little known early 70's psychodrama, pronounced Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1987) the 87th scariest film ever made.

At the top of the list, A #1, Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), followed closely by The Exorcist (1973) from William Friedkin at second place and the creeping, remorseless terror of the original Halloween (1978) by John Carpenter at the number three spot for "Scariest of All-Time".

Interestingly enough, The Blair Witch Project (1999) made the number twelve spot while the truly psychotic and original Peeping Tom (1960) only made it to number fifty-seven.

In Let's Scare Jessica To Death, a psychologically fragile woman with a wispy Waspy frame and her husband and freaknik friends find themselves in the secluded and haunted Connecticut country-side. While taking a vacation from the hustle and bustle of New York City and the strain of a six-month stay in a mental hosptial, Jessica (Zohra Lambert), begins to encounter what she believes are the restless spirits of the long dead Bishop family.

The whole vacation area and the town folk that persist there are all apparently cursed and isolated making Jessica's quickly unraveling sanity even more threadbare.

IMDb, Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
Wikipedia, Let's Scare Jessica To Death

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