Night of Dark Shadows (1971)


(director/writer: Dan Curtis; screenwriters: Sam Hall/story by Sam Hall; cinematographer: Richard Shore; editor: Charles Goldsmith; music: Robert Cobert; cast: David Selby (Charles Collins/Quentin Collins), Kate Jackson (Tracy Collins), Grayson Hall (Carlotta Drake), John Karlen (Alex Jenkins), Lara Parker (Angellque Collins), Nancy Barrett (Claire Jenkins), James Storm (Gerard Styles), Diana Millay (Laura Collins), Thayer David (Rev. Strack), Christopher Pennock (Gabriel Collins), Clarice Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), Monica Rich (Sarah Castle); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Dan Curtis; Warner Home Video; 1971)

A modest exploitation supernatural tale, that seems better suited to be soap opera day TV fare than a feature movie.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A modest exploitation supernatural tale, that seems better suited to be soap opera day TV fare than a feature movie. The atmospheric low-budget flick about an evil ghost witch bothering a new tenant was inspired by the popular television soap-opera/horror melodrama Dark Shadows. Dan Curtis(“Our Fathers”/”The Love Letter”/”Intruders”) helms the second film he based on that TV show, with the first Dark Shadows rip off the far better flick. Writer Sam Hall gives this horror pic a new storyline.

The gentle artist Quentin Collins (David Selby), the last of his clan, moves back to Collinwood Manor, in Maine, with his recent bride Tracy (Kate Jackson) to his newly inherited ancestral home he has never seen before (the haunted house used was railroad robber/baron Jay Gould’s 1890 Lyndhurst mansion–Tarrytown, New York) and experiences strangely violent visions of the past. Unsure of what’s real and what’s a dream, Collin’s discovers he’s being haunted by the possessive evil ghost of the witch Angelique (Lara Parker)–his ancestor, who was hanged in 1810 as a witch. During the sexy blonde Angelique’s lifetime she was painted by her artist brother-in-law and lover, Charles Collins.

The previous owner’s housekeeper, Carlotta Drake (Grayson Hall), and her nephew, Gerard Styles (James Storm), serve as caretakers.

The married couple, Alex Jenkins (John Karlen) and Claire (Nancy Barrett), are the couple’s well-meaning married friends who are unfortunately no help to the distressed couple.


REVIEWED ON 10/28/2014 GRADE: C+