SYMPTOMS screens in conjunction with the release of Michael Tully’s new film, DON’T LEAVE HOME, opening September 14 at AFS Cinema.
The early UK-based features of Spanish director José Ramón Larraz—including WHIRLPOOL (1970), THE HOUSE THAT VANISHED (1974), and VAMPYRES (1974)—are not as well known as other psycho-thrillers of the 1970s, but for a particular subset of movie lover they are equally influential. SYMPTOMS might just be the best of the batch. Helen (Angela Pleasence) invites her old friend Anne (Lorna Heilbron) to steal away with her to her family’s isolated—and otherwise abandoned—manor home. Soon after arriving, Helen begins having haunting visions as strange voices leak through the attic at night. Meanwhile, Anne crosses paths with the menacing Brady (Peter Vaughan), who informs her that Helen’s previous female houseguest, Cora, went missing and has yet to reappear. Is Brady the culprit? Are the voices in the attic to blame? Or do Helen’s fraying nerves have something to do with it? Creepy and haunting, SYMPTOMS is a film that oozes with ‘70s psycho-atmosphere. (Michael Tully)