Fright Said Fred

SFX - - Reviews -

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.

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