Fright Said Fred
released OUT NOW! 1981 | 18 | Blu-ray/dVd
Director John Irvin
Cast alice Krige, Fred astaire, Melvyn douglas, John Houseman, douglas Fairbanks Jr
Who really haunts this adaptation of Peter Straub’s acclaimed horror novel? The malevolent wraith whose beyond-the-grave revenge drives the tale? Or the screen ghosts of its leading men, four golden age stars flickering for the final time?
By this point Hollywood’s faded greats were usually mired in disaster movie schlock like Airport ’77, so Ghost Story proves a welcome graceful exit for Fred Astaire and co, cast as elderly raconteurs of shivery tales who find themselves menaced by some unfinished business from their youth.
Overwrought moments mix with subtler chills, and the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff delivers some stunning shots of a snowbound Vermont. But for all its celluloid royalty, the film belongs to future Borg Queen Alice Krige, alluring but magnificently off-kilter.
Extras Commentary by director John Irvin; an absorbing 40-minute interview with author Peter Straub; an insightful interview with star Alice Krige; a featurette on the film’s story development; “The Visual Effects Of Albert Whitlock” – a discussion with matte photographer Bill Taylor; TV spot, radio spot, photo gallery and trailer. Nick Setchfield
FX maestro Dick Smith also created a nightmarish version of the ghost with no eyes or nose, but it was cut out.