Fresh from a mental hospital, Jessica (Zohra Lampert, The Exorcist III) is taken by her husband, Duncan (Barton Heyman, The Super Cops) to a farmhouse with a cove nearby for a fresh start. If only Duncan had known that it’s reportedly haunted, which can’t be good for Jessica’s fragile psyche. Almost immediately upon their arrival — in a hearse, no less! — the voices in her head start right back up.
Having the heroine experience visions that may not be real — that is, seen and acknowledged by other characters — is a good road for a psychological horror film to travel. It’s just that the view is so relentlessly dull. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is the feature debut for director John D. Hancock (Bang the Drum Slowly); his inexperience shows in the pacing, the amateurish performances and even the choice of an ill-fitting musical score (hippie folk).
For something with intentions of fright right there in the title, the movie never gets anywhere near raising a pulse, despite having a considerable cult whose members may feel otherwise. Less can be more, but in this case, it’s just less. —Rod Lott
Hey! Read This:
• The Super Cops DVD review