Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) – Review, Rating and Synopsis

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

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  • Release Date:  1971
  • Genre:  Madness & Paranoia
  • Director:  John D. Hancock
  • Screenwriter:  John D. Hancock, Lee Kalcheim, Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Cast & Crew: Zohra Lampert, Barton Heyman, Kevin O’Connor, Gretchen Corbett, Alan Manson, and Mariclare Costello.


Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) Rating:

  • Dylan = 8.5 / 10;
  • Eloise = 6 / 10;
  • Raoul = 7 / 10;
  • IMDB = 6.5/10;
  • Rotten Tomatoes = 5.0/10.

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) Synopsis:

A young woman, freshly released from the mental hospital, moves to an old house in a remote village with her husband. Quickly, she starts to see strange people again.

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) Review:

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is a classic of the psychological horror genre. It’s also one of these dark movies from the ’70s where the mystery is legion and where the truth is something you will have a hard time figuring out for yourself. In that, it reassembles other dark movies from the same period such as Don’t Look Now or again the excellent Burnt Offerings.

Like the latest titles cited, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is all about the oppressive atmosphere, which is here created by the fact that you never really know what’s happening. The movie is pretty slow paced, but there is always something happening and most scenes are important to the story.

Gore fans will be disappointed: there is virtually no action at all. But this compensated by the efficiency of this psychological thriller and the excellence of the scenario. After the atmosphere, the second best thing the character of Jessica. Both her character and the actress who plays her are great. Her behavior and many attitudes, with her weird smile and odd gaze, are really disturbing. It feels like the actress is either mentally disturbed in real life or that she totally nailed the character. In any case, she really gives this extra odd touch to the movie.

More than a simple movie, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is an atmospheric experience, especially if you enjoyed other paranoia-themed thrillers such as Carnival of Souls, The Screaming Skull or again Dementia 13.

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death Official Website

One of the creepiest and most understated fright films of the 1970s is John Hancock’s LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH.  Starring Zohra Lampert as a woman attempting to rejoin the world of sane people after having a brush with mental illness, Jessica and her husband and a friend move into a new house in Connecticut in the hopes of returning to a normal life.

Refreshingly bereft of gore and long on mood and characterization, LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH now has a beautiful website passionately created by one of it’s most ardent fans who live in Canada.  I urge you to have a look at it.

The film is available on DVD, and although it is not the special edition that fans have been wanting for years, it is worth owning as it is the best available version of the film on home video.

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