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Typical 80s horror elevated by some strong performances,
This review is from: The Unseen (DVD)
I was a teen during the 80s and remember watching tons of horror films during that time which also converted me into a lifelong fan of the genre. I admit horror and slasher flicks made during the 80s tend to be cheesy and overly exaggerated, and let's not forget the annoying soundtracks.
I was browsing through Youtube to watch "The Attic", another strangely fascinating gem from the 70s when I chanced upon The Unseen. It looked vaguely familiar so I might have actually watched this back then but can't seem to recall details. Anyway, the basic premise is three young women are in a small town in California where two of the women are a news crew covering the Dutch festival. The trio can't find anyplace to spend the night as all the local motels are fully booked. They end up at an old hotel and are greeted by a middle-aged man who appears charming and solicitous. He tells them the hotel is now a museum but after watching the distress on their faces, offers to put them up at his own home.
The benign museum curator, Ernest Keller (played impeccably by Sydney Lassick) turns out to harbor sinister motives and is shown to have perverse tendencies. Also, his wife Virginia (Lelia Goldoni) is visibly upset when the three young ladies show up at the house, and viewers discover why soon after. There is an unspeakable presence in the house, one which is not seen (hence the title The Unseen) and all three young ladies become acquainted with the Unseen soon enough.
As predictable as the storyline is, there are some highlights which made this an interesting watch for me. The production qualities were actually quite good for its time and the performances by the cast was above average for what I presume was a low budget flick. Especially riveting were the performances by Lassick as the lecherous pervert Keller and Stephen Furst as the Unseen. Goldoni's performance as the tortured soul Virginia was finely nuanced and credibly portrayed. As for the three girls - there's ex-Bond girl Barbara Bach playing a reporter. There's full female nudity in one scene. Not much character development here not that there's time. The movie has its creepy moments, especially when Lassick and Furst are in the frame. Recommended for those who are nostalgic for 80s horror flicks.