Jack and Janet Smurl of West Pittston, PA say that a demon was in their house for nearly 15 years between 1974 and 1989, despite the denials of the Catholic Church, psychologists and scientific skeptics. Luckily, they had Ed and Lorraine Warren on their side, who encouraged their beliefs and even helped them write the book that this movie was based on.
Sally Kirkland was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her work in this movie as Janet Smurl. Jack is played by Jeffrey DeMunn, who you may know as Dale from TV’s The Walking Dead. Or if you’re like Becca and never watched that show, you’ll know him as the sheriff from the remake of The Blob.
Louise Latham from Marnie plays the grandmother and George D. Wallace — Commander Cody himself! — is the grandfather, who doesn’t believe any of this is happening but has a great part where he fends off the media on the porch with a rifle.
Joyce Van Patten — the domineering mom from Monkey Shines — shows up as a neighbor, with Stephen Markle and Diane Baker playing the Warrens, way before The Conjuring series of films (I kind of Lorraine also appeared on Road Rules: All-Stars before Hollywood truly came calling). Keep an eye out for the reporter who collapses on the Smurl’s front lawn — that’s Lorraine.
The best part of this movie? The crazy way it visualizes the demonic presence as a black formless bit of nothing that has multiple voices. The funniest? There are numerous moments, but I kind of love that copyright issues meant that when the kids watch Lost In Space, they dubbed over the actor’s voices.
You can watch this on Shudder.