(William Fruet, 1980)
Not bad at all. As a proudly slumming Certified Canadian Cinema Artist, Fruet adds some juice to this elemental eighties horror scenario, getting the most out of a pretty good bunch of actors and playing each situation for as much horror, comedy or pathos as it will support. The flashbacks are well integrated, and the occasional gore is incidental to the unnervingly careful pacing and genuinely creepy atmosphere, with credit also due to Jerry Fielding's excellent score and Mark Irwin's moody-to-murky cinematography. And while it's not hard to guess where things are going, it doesn't really bother you until you get there, at which point the Psycho ripoff becomes a bit too overbearing, and the staging slips into cluttered chaos. But the critique of rural parochialism is textured with digs at equally obnoxious urban types, and the treatment of the 'slow' yard hand is refreshingly kind; they even have the grace to bury the ludicrous pop-psych wrapup under the end credits.