Louise, brilliantly played by the fantastic, under-utilized and now-departed actress Carrie Snodgrass, is a spinster librarian with a hateful, controlling, wheelchair-bound dad played with unashamed evil hilarity by Ray Milland. Louise is depressed beyond belief — she ‘s never gotten over the loss of her fiancée who disappeared 19 years ago, or an accident that led to her beget being in a wheelchair. She does anything she can to cope : attempts suicide, masturbates, has a one-night stand, plans vacations she ‘ll never have the courage to take, retires from her job and even takes caution of a chimpanzee. But she ‘s not a balance person — she constantly fantasizes about rejecting her abusive and mean father and loses racetrack of reality on occasion. She was admits to being involved in a library arson, and that she ‘d do it again. She drinks a fiddling besides. But things seem to be going her way at last when Louise makes a ally out of a colleague, a earnest young woman who boosts Louise ‘s confidence, and gives her hope, sets her on the road to recovering her self-esteem and her biography.
But, as in “ Carrie, ” happiness is not in the cards for Louise, and it all comes to an goal in a series of ironic surprises, and a stormy conclusion in a creepy attic where unpleasant truths are ultimately revealed.
This is not a horror movie — it ‘s not chilling or bloodstained at all. You have to be in the right mood to enjoy this movie. You have to be depressed, and feeling hateful, and honest-to-god, and grief over the loss of person or something you love to in truth get into this movie. You have to feel like the world is an unfair, barbarous place to live, and be interested in a movie that confirms your bad fears … the universe IS against you ! There are some fantastic moments of black humor — the mystery Ray Milland has been hiding about his health is somehow thus barbarous it ‘s about funny, and listening to Carrie Snodgrass break out of character and shout is a fantastic experience. Some of Louise ‘s fantasies show her scream or acting crafty and seductive in that strange voice of hers, giving merely a hint of what Ms. Snodgrass might have delivered had more roles come her way. Ray Milland ‘s hate of the “ Dicky the chimpanzee ” is hilarious, even as it degrades a once great actor in his declining years to be in such a role in, basically, an exploitation film. But I ca n’t stop laughing when he inaugural sees Dickey … ” What in God ‘s appoint is THAT ! ? ? ”
It ‘s not a great movie, and hard to categorize ; I have no estimate who would have put up money for something like this, let alone how they got the actors they did. It ‘s more sad than chilling, and you very have to be in the right climate to watch a character who ‘s life was pretty rotten about get better, then fall into a bottomless pit of hopelessness.
Or possibly the implication is that Louise went on after this movie, and was able to start her life over, having broken the spell of the past that kept her from moving forward. Somehow, I highly doubt it though … !