Archive for April 24, 2019

Here’s Hough

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2019 by dcairns

 

Fiona had a wee hospital thing yesterday which involved a very early start for both of us. While recuperating, she watched ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN and THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS, all directed by John Hough for Disney. After we bailed on the HERBIE quadrilogy when it looked like HERBIE GOES BANANAS wasn’t going to be edifying.

Hough certainly had talent, and an odd career that would see him making the Disney fantasies alongside paranormal rape flicks THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE and THE INCUBUS. But WATCHER may be his scariest film, aided by atmospheric locations, committed performances from Bette Davis and Ian Bannen in particular, and some really effective jump scares. And yeah, I know we’re all meant to be too big and mature for jump scares now, and I know they’ve been done to death, but… these are really good.

This UFO from the first WITCH MOUNTAIN is engraved in my memory. I’m old enough to just recall the old days of cinema-going: the family would rock up at the Odeon or ABC at any old time, and walk in on the end or middle of a movie, then watch through a whole double feature until we got back to where we began. So I saw the ending of this movie first, and its the one bit I recall.

Fiona was horrified to hear I experienced the cinema in this chaotic way. She always saw movies from beginning to end, like a person.