Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#86 - Lady in White - 1988

The 2nd film I chose to watch this week was the 1988 film Lady in White. I saw this one when I was much younger, probably around 13 or 14 and it was pretty creepy back then and just as much now. I have not seen this film for about a good 10 years or so therefore I was very excited to watch it again not having seen it for so long. Below is my detailed review.

This movie was not loaded with tons of famous actors and actresses but the individuals who were in this film were great. The lead was Lukas Haas who played Frankie Scarlatti. This had to be one of his first films and to this day no matter what movie I see him in I will always remember him from this film as the little kid in the closet. His father Angelo is played by Alex Rocco who was amazing and the villain or should I say murderer, Phil Terragarossa, was played by Len Cariou. The other notable actor in this film was Jason Presson who played Frankie's older brother Geno. This kid looked like he just fell out of an episode of Leave it to Beaver and he was very good as well. The entire cast like I said was great.

This movie was much different than the rest of the ones that I watched this week. Yes it took place on Halloween therefore it was one of my choices for this week however it was different because it was more serious and much much more controversial. Yes the original Halloween caused quite a stir when it came out but this film had some things in it that surprised me seeing it the 2nd time that I didn't notice when I originally saw it and that was probably because I was so young. The story itself was very disturbing but I didn't care at all for the some of the language that was used in reference to African American's, I didn't need to hear the word "nigger" in this film but I understand why they felt it was important to the film. Still I didn't like it. Even though this was more of a serious drama it did have its moments of a care freeness in the beginning of the film that reminds me more of a fall film around Halloween time.

Now as much as this film was different than the others I'm watching this week there was one part in particular was strikingly similar to at least one film, The Midnight Hour, almost identical in fact. I am speaking of the beginning of the film. Both films included the following. A newspaper boy on his bike driving around in a small, quaint town. There is a milk man and a scene where a store owner opens his door and sweeps the storefront sidewalk. There is a vision of a barber shop as well. These scenes were so incredibly similar I had to remind myself I was watching a different movie than the one I just saw. It was weird but for that short time this film fit right into place with the other. Not for long though.

This film had a very powerful story and was well written. There were a lot of different elements in this film that made it very good. Ill start with the setting and scenery used as a backdrop for this film. It was gorgeous. I don't know if it was sets or actual locations where they shot this film but some of the scenes were visually very scenic. The forest scenes were quite awesome and man would I love to have had a bike ride like Frankie and Geno had when I was younger. Fact is I really never even rode my bike to school but if I had I would have loved the ride they had. That same forest area was the backdrop for the final chase sequence in the film as well and was quite creepy at this point in the film. The cliff scenes were pretty cool as well but probably, scratch that, definitely had more special effects placed in them than real backgrounds. Still overall the scenic scenes in this film were pretty cool, even the flyover out of body experience Frankie had in this film. It was kind of odd too see but for this film it kind of fit.

There were some quite eerie scenes in this film. One of the more notable scenes was when Frankie was locked in the closet. Just seeing the ghost of the girl then the killer looking for his ring was creepy. Who can forget the scene where the old lady ghost in the house with the red hair (I think she was the Mom in Who's the Boss?) came flying down the stairs and scared the crap out of the kids. Her face was so incredibly creepy looking. The entire final sequence of this film was more intense than creepy and definitely had a lot of action to it. A chase through the woods, a fire in the house, and a struggle at cliffside all led to the climax of this film. Prior to that though there were some other scenes that I found quite shocking and just downright creepy in this film.

First I found it quite odd that the supposed 1st girl who was murdered was named Melissa Ann Montgomery. Ok that's just creepy. My wife's name is Jennifer Ann Montgomery. I thought Frankie's Dad's sympathy and compassion was quite endearing to the janitor's wife after the whole church debacle with one of the murdered boys Mom. The way he comforted her and drove her home was very sweet and caring and I found it very nice to see especially since her husband was completely innocent. What I did not like and what totally shocked me was when after being released from jail that Janitor was shot and killed by that same woman from the church. This scene was just downright surprising to me and I totally did not see it come. Just so damn creepy the way she walks up and then pulls the gun after her apology. I personally thought the most intense and scary scene of the film was when Frankie realized that Phil was the killer when he was humming the song "did you ever see a dream walking" and then when Phil absolutely freaks out and tries to get into the car to get Frankie. The whole scene was quite scary. Overall I thought this was a very good film and would easily give it a B+!

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