SLASHER MONTH: I Start Counting (1970)

Sure, this is a pre-slasher, slasher adjacent, pseudo-slasher, whatever. But it has killing, it has suspense and it has style. It also has a 16-year-old Jenny Agutter playing a sexually obsessed 14-year-old so it was pretty rough for conservative people in 1970 and probably still is 51 years later.

Director David Greene also made The People Next Door, RootsThe Shuttered Room and Madame Sin among others. Here he’s leading Agutter through the trials of her teenage years, which include her crush on a twice her age stepbrother who just may be the serial killer at large in her community. Nonetheless, she remains devoted to him, literally throwing herself at him throughout the film, even starting to explain away why he feels the need to kill.

But is he the killer? And will she even see whoever is the murderer coming her way if it happens? Seldom discussed, I really dug this one. Growing up is difficult. Here’s hoping Agutter’s Wynne gets the chance.

The soundtrack — especially the Basil Kirchin and Lindsey Moore title track — is incredible, too.

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