SON OF MADE FOR TV MOVIES WEEK: She Waits (1972)

Laura Wilson (Patty Duke, Valley of the DollsThe Swarm) and Mark (David McCallum, Illya Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and better known to today’s TV audience as Dr. Donald Mallard on N.C.I.S.) haven’t been married long. And on their first trip to meet his mother (Dorothy McGuire, The Greatest Story Ever Told), she learns that maybe this marriage wasn’t the best of ideas. Mom has been ready to go nutzoid ever since Mark’s first wife Elaine died and she’s convinced that her ghost is inside her home.

Everywhere Laura goes, she starts hearing Elaine’s favorite song and even her voice. Is she trying to possess her? Or she just being ridiculous, as the family doctor suggests? The movie never really gives in the whole way to the supernatural. It’s more about Mark shutting himself off and not dealing with the past.

The family maid thinks that Mark’s mother is getting worse and worse, with Laura in danger of the very same insanity. And what’s the deal with Mark’s friend David (James T. Callahan, the dad from Charles in Charge)? And can you talk a ghost out of possessing someone just by, well, talking to them?

Director Delbert Mann (Marty) puts together a competent story, written by Art Wallace, who was the main writer for TV’s Dark Shadows. It fits into the 70’s well, where possession and Satan and old ghosts of murdered wives were around every corner. It’s slow moving, but if you understand that going in and know the conventions of TV movie horror, you’ll find some good in this film.

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