Yikes is the 29th day of 30 Days of Terror, and I today I bring one that is psychological to the core with a dash of slasher, A Reflection of Fear (1973).
A cry in the night… A gasp in the dark…
I’ve seen A Reflection of Fear several times. Each time, I’m just as shocked and amazed as the first time. Marguerite (Sondra Locke) lives with her mother, Katherine (Mary Ure), and her grandmother, Julia (Signe Husso), in an isolated mansion. Marguerite doesn’t leave the grounds often and talks to herself, an amoeba, her dolls, and Aaron. Everyone involved in her life assumes Aaron is a doll. She’s also an artist, painting random Biblical scenes and other strange things.
The psychological elements in this film are off the charts, especially with Marguerite. There’s something about her that is child-like, her brattish outbursts. She is a bit of a vixen. Especially when her father, Michael (Robert Shaw), arrives to speak with her mother about getting a divorce. They haven’t seen each other since she was a baby, though she keeps in touch with him via letters. Her seduction is chilling, and I’m a tad unnerved that he doesn’t stop her advances.
The set is like an over-stuffed museum with the most over the top room being the dining room. Wait until you see it. Marguerite’s doll collection is super creepy and enhanced with lighting that makes my skin crawl. Fred Myrow provides the eerie soundtrack for this gem. The use of camera angles and lighting provided an extra layer to the surreal atmosphere.
The glimpses of Aaron are bizarre. I’m not for certain that I’m seeing a human or if he’s a strange doll in the shadows. The twist in this 70s artsy horror is unnerving, though not frightening.
I give A Reflection of Fear the title of ‘subtle slasher’ and 4 out of 5 Stars.