When I first reviewed Audrey Rose (1977) for a SHOCKtober past--2009, to be precise--I found it fine but disappointing because I'd been told it was terrifying, not only by someone I knew but also by the VHS box for it. Since it appeared as one of a lone reader's favorite horror movies on the 2020 list, I thought this year would be a good time to revisit it to see if I would enjoy it more than I did way back when.
Spoiler alert, no I did not! In fact, I think I enjoyed it less!It's got a fine birth year in 1977. It's got a fine cast in Anthony Hopkins, Marsha Mason, John Beck of television's Dallas. It's got a fine director in Robert Wise. He directed The Haunting for chrissakes! What I remembered from last time, mostly, is that there is so much screaming and crying, and Anthony Hopkins says "Audrey Rose!" a lot. What I didn't remember is that Marsha Mason really doesn't have much to do beyond this:
I'd also forgotten just how little horror there is in all the drama. I'm good with that kind of thing usually, but once this really gets to the courtroom plotline, it is just glacial and dull and I start dreaming about the fantastic horror movie it could have been. That's pointless, I know, and unfair to the film Audrey Rose actually is. I don't care! I also know I'm giving a shitty "review" this time, and I don't care about that either! (That 2009 review is a bit more in-depth, if you are interested.) This movie made me cranky. Is that the movie's fault? I'm not sure!
But I do know that I'm counting my blessings that Chris MacNeil was a single mother, because she could and did do whatever it took to get help for her daughter and wasn't clamjammed by her stubborn husband.
Well, I have given this film two tries and I think that's enough to say "I am happy for that reader who calls it a favorite, but it is definitely not for me." If you catch me trying it again during SHOCKtober in 2037, please knock the videotape out of my hand!