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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crowhaven Farm

  
     Ben and Maggie Hooper inherit an old farm in rural Massachusetts.  Maggie (Hope Lange) is unable to have children, so they hope a move to the country will spice up their relationship.  Upon arriving, Maggie immediately senses something is wrong.  She starts getting strange feelings, like she's been there before, and hearing strange noises.  She also begins to have chilling dreams about Puritans and witch trials, and as she starts to investigate, she finds that the farm was once a place where they tortured and killed many witches.  Mysteriously, Maggie ends up pregnant...


     Obviously inspired by "Rosemary's Baby", "Crowhaven Farm" is a memorable entry in the supernatural craze of the late 60's/early 70's and offers up some great Thanksgiving atmosphere. However, this one is not on the level of scariness of say, "Trilogy of Terror" or "Don't Be Afraid Of the Dark".  This one is much more campy, much more fun.  "Crowhaven Farm" offers up witchcraft, Puritans, torture, and reincarnation- what more could you ask for in a movie?  If this were made today, it would be nothing but special effects- but "Crowhaven Farm" actually could be redone into something interesting, if it were done right. I would hope they would keep it low budget though- I think the low budgets of these movies worked to their advantage.  It just gives them that certain something that just wouldn't work as well in a big budget production.  I think so at least.


     There's something disturbing about the scenes containing Puritans- I've always found them to be slightly unnerving.  But even more disturbing is a scene where a little girl the couple is thinking about adopting crawls into bed with Ben... and is obviously flirting with him.  It's a strange, awkward moment that would never fly today.  This girl can't be more than 11 or 12 years old, and she's trying to nab a piece of Ben!  And then there's Hope Lange- she might not have been the best choice for the role- she comes off a bit spacey at first, so when the witchery begins, you almost expect her to be hearing voices and seeing things.  But still, "Crowhaven Farm" is just too good to be true.

      There is one scene that stands out and is almost worth watching for this scene alone.  Maggie at one point hears a baby crying in the night and wanders out into the woods to find it- and suddenly the baby's crying turns to evil, mocking laughter...  Great stuff.  The ABC Movie of the Week is a lost art form, cheesy to be sure, and one that we'll sadly never see again.  I keep hearing more and more of a box set containing the most famous of these, so keep your fingers crossed, kids.  I distinctly remember this usually airing around Thanksgiving, usually on the late show.

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1 comment:

patrick lordoew said...

If anyone is interested the sites below have this available on dvd. Thanks

www.dvdsentertainmentonline.com/product/crowhaven-farm-dvd-tv-hope-lange-john-carradine-1970

www.vendio.com/stores/OldTimeMoviesandTV/item/crowhaven-farm-dvd-tv-hope-lan/lid=7205904

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