Friday, January 31, 2014

Jason versus Visiting Hours

I vaguely remember the TV ads for Visiting Hours when I was a 10-year-old boy, and was totally creeped out by them. Surprise! The movie is now on Netflix, so I finally got to face my fears. Is this 1982 slasher flick are scary as the commercials let on? Stick with me!

A crazed, women-hating killer attacks journalist Deborah Ballin. When he discovers that his attack didn't kill Deborah, he comes to the hospital to finish what he started.

Actually, there's a lot more to this flick than that, which is what makes Visiting Hours all the more entertaining. I don't usually like movies where I get to know the killer as well as the victim, but this flick does that, and does it well. And they cast veteran heavy Michael Ironside as the killer. Smart move!

I also dug Lee Grant's turn as the victim. She's tough yet vulnerable, and she goes out with The Shat -- William Shatner. Good for her! When she finally throws down with Ironside during the final chase sequence, I bought every move she made. Seeing her and Ironside square off is a treat.

Kudos too to Linda Purl's sympathetic nurse. She gets caught up in the whole stalker thing, and a sequence where she's menaced by Ironside in her home is one for the books. The acting, along with Jean-Claude Lord's slick direction, make this horror flick a cut above, if you'll excuse the pun.

You know, I was prepared to give Visiting Hours a Bad. But, as I write this, I gotta give it a Good. Along with The Prowler, this is a hidden horror gem from the 80s.
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