Thursday, November 03, 2011

Crowhaven Farm

(1970) [TVM] **

After discovering a bounty of schlocky 1970s made-for-TV movies last year I wanted to continue the trend for Horrorthon 2011. I even purchased a companion book that catalogues all of these chestnuts. Damn right, I’m dedicated! I am also happy to report that a lot of the ABC television movies are now available on You Tube.

"Stop killing me in such a stupid way!"

Following the grisly death of a family member, Ben and Meg Porter inherit an old, remote farmhouse in Massachusetts. Soon after moving in Meg begins having recurring nightmares of being placed under a board, while Pilgrim-looking individuals pile heavy stones on top of her demanding to know the names of witches. Understandably upset by these visions she begins to investigate the town’s dark history and learns that centuries earlier the denizens of Crowhaven Farm tortured and crucified those accused of being a witch.

Meanwhile a sickly woman from the town asks if Ben and Meg would care for her niece while she travels to a medical appointment far away. Charmed by the young girl the couple agree to look after her. Meg, who has been unsuccessful in her attempts to conceive, believes that spending time with the child will strengthen her marriage.

"I'm innocent and have no ulterior motives"

Before long they learn that the girl’s aunt was killed in a car accident and they reluctantly agree to allow the child to remain with them. After some upsetting events Meg begins to suspect that the child is a manipulative, hateful thing. While trying to piece together the Crowhaven Farm puzzle, Meg learns that she is pregnant and much to her chagrin her horrifying visions increase. Just what does the town of Crowhaven have in store for Meg and why are they so bent of destroying her?

Crowhaven Farm is fairly slow until the final act. The “scares” are mediocre and the rationale for the townsfolk’s sinister behavior does not make a lot of sense. [minor spoiler] Why, for example, would an entire town conspire to harm Meg for something one of her ancestors did hundreds of years ago? I have read many positive reviews for this film but my sense is that people are recalling their experiences of watching Crowhaven Farm as children rather than through their adult eyes. Crowhaven Farm was very similar to another TVM I watched last year entitled The Dark Secret of Harvest Home. Fun for those curious about these ABC movies of the week but banal for the rest, skip it.


Johnny Sweatpants said...

I can see why you're drawn to the 70's made-for-TV films. You don't ever have to worry about getting out of your comfort zone and occasionally you get a great story.

Your link didn't work but I'd love to take a look at that book sometime.

Octopunk said...

This is a great source of Horrorthon material and I applaud your obsessive book-buying. I'm still laughing about the title Bad Ronald.

From watching Snowbeast and Killdozer I think the comfort zone is what it's all about. Even as the music overbears and the story cloys, it feels nice and familiar.

Catfreeek said...

For me it's about the nostalgia, I love rewatching some of the films that scared me as a kid. I'm surprised at how many of them still have game.

Which reminds me, Octo, how did the gritted teeth lady fair for you?

oolformacha said...

This movie scarred the crap out of me when I was 6. Who names a farm crowhaven, anyway.