AFFLICTION
1997, Lionsgate, 114 min, USA/Canada, Dir: Paul Schrader

Writer-director Paul Schrader’s adaptation of the Russell Banks novel focuses on New Hampshire policeman Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte, in one of his best performances), forced to confront personal demons as he investigates a suspicious hunting accident. The top-notch cast includes Sissy Spacek, Willem Dafoe, Mary Beth Hurt and James Coburn, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Whitehouse’s abusive father.


LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH
1971, Paramount, 89 min, USA, Dir: John D. Hancock

In this hallucinatory classic, a young woman with a troubled emotional past moves into an old New England farmhouse to start over. The problem is that she quickly begins having terrifying encounters in the house, and director John Hancock keeps both the characters and the audience guessing as to whether or not she’s imagining things. With a brilliantly haunting performance by Zohra Lampert.


THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS
1991, Universal, 102 min, USA, Dir: Wes Craven

Claustrophobic terror and a savage satire of Reaganomics drive this tale of a teenager who tries to keep his family from being evicted but ends up trapped in the home of his psychotic landlords.


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