Dan Curtis, director of TV's Dark Shadows series, directed this eerie haunted-house thriller about a house which draws energy from its inhabitants and selects its own "keeper" from the family of Ben and Marian Rolf (Oliver Reed & Karen Black), who rent the strangely-affordable house one fateful summer then find themselves slowly succumbing to its creepy powers. The photography is suitably moody, and many of the standard haunted-house cliches are used to decent effect -- particularly a violent scene in which the surrounding woods form a barrier to prevent the family station wagon from escaping the area -- but the pace is too leisurely overall, climaxing with the type of grim ending employed by nearly every mainstream horror film in the late 70's. Black's spooky looks are used to maximum effect, but are never quite as chilling as the final shot of Curtis's TV movie Trilogy of Terror from the previous year. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
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