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Stranger in the House
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Stranger in the House (1978)

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Plot Summary:
"A country family of five takes in cousin Julia, whose parents recently perished in a car crash. Julia extends her influence over the family and those around them, fooling all except for Rachel, the teenaged girl who knows her cousin is up to no good."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 27 February 2004 My Rating: out of 5


If, when you settle down to watch this, you are aware that it is a 1978 TV movie based on a novel by Lois 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' Duncan, then, like myself, you might enjoy it.

When Linda Blair's character's Aunt and Uncle are killed in a car accident, her family take in her estranged cousin Julia. At first Julia seems a little odd but they chalk it up to the trauma of losing her parents and try to help her settle in.

Julia, coerced by her cousin, soon comes out of her shell and that's when bad things start to happen for happy go lucky teen Blair as she begins to suspect that her cousin is a witch!!

The film is obviously dated, the fashions and hair are terrible, but the story remains good.

Wes craven's direction is hardly astounding, but he does orchestrate a few moments of suspense, the odd jump scene and some weird use of dream imagery (he was obviously tinkering with the technique in preperation for 'Nightmare on Elm Street').

The cast are all good, but I must say that Linda Blair carries the film, and has an endearing quality I like about her. It's a shame that the public can't get past her 'Exorcist' image.

The film is also notable for an early appearance by everyone's favourite Nanny, Fran Drescher and for a Friday afternoon, there's much worse you could watch.

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