Why bother? I’m a horror writer (among other genres) and since my teens a horror film buff. Any insight into what brought me here might be valuable to my craft. With a bit of reluctance about cutting into my writing time to watch a movie, I decided to just dive in.
I spent an hour and thirteen minutes and $2.99 embracing the story responsible for my inability to expose as much as a foot from under the covers for years without fearing being pulled into the abyss of the fireplace or a hell mouth under the bed. No, this is not fear of the dark. I’m a self-professed nyctophile. The night, the moon, have calming effects on me. Yet, there are still nights when a chill of fear shoots through me for no explainable reason. Perhaps the answer lay in this film.
When I found this gif, I immediately recognized a perfectly preserved memory from my early childhood.
Once you get past the references to 70’s lime-green wallpaper, bad soap opera music, and a wife who has nothing better to do than make grocery lists and act the “perfect hostess,” you can immerse yourself in the whispering goonies and their plot to kill Sally.
Evidently, my deep fears were related to my young age. I’ve always been a bit embarrassed about how frightened I was of this movie. There is some creepiness stemming from the whispering of the little monsters. In fact, it would have been much better if we never saw them, just heard them.
As an adult, all I could focus on were the uneven performances of Kim Darby and Timothy Hutton’s look-a-like father, Jim Hutton. The characters have angry outbursts over little things and when they're supposedly terrorized their reactions are subdued. And don't get me started on the human dialogue, which was almost entirely unnecessary to understanding the film.
Another distraction was the size of these walnut headed creatures, which changed from a finger’s length while they watched Sally from a bookshelf, to about three feet in comparison to an outdoor garbage can.
Also interesting to note, I had seen the Guillermo Del Toro remake with Katie Holmes and never connected it to the show I watched all those years ago.
In case you’re wondering, I’m glad I found and watched this silly TV movie. It was fun and campy, despite taking itself rather seriously.