24 October 2014

Night Cries (1978)
97 min.
Directed by Richard Lang.
With Susan Saint James, Michael Parks, William Conrad, Cathleen Nesbitt, Jamie Smith Jackson, Delores Dorn, Britt Leach.
Jeannie Haskins (Saint James) and husband Mitch (Parks) are delighted they're having a baby.

After a seemingly normal delivery, Jeannie is told her infant girl has died. Empty and devastated, mother and father return home and try to rebuild their shattered lives.

However, Jeannie can't shake the feeling that something's not right here...that something unnatural is at work.

She has recurring nightmares in which she hears the tortured cries of a baby - her own dead child crying out for her.

In these dark dreams, she sees closed doors she can't open, and images of creepy Nurse Green (Dorn) who attended her at the hospital.

Convinced her child is somehow still alive, Jeannie consults sleep specialist Dr. Whelan (Conrad) in the hopes that together they can get to the bottom of Jeannie's delusions.

But what if they're not just dreams filled with symbols...what if these dreams are actually urging her to uncover a sinister truth behind the very real disappearance of her baby?

Undoubtedly one of the most obscure TV horror flicks of the '70s, it's worth the trouble of finding a copy of this subdued thriller.

A psychological plotline (rather routine) forges the main action, but Saint James and Conrad give it the right amount of heft and pathos.

The direction and cinematography are appropriately dreamlike, and include one of the best scenes: the Polanski-inspired moment where Saint James sees a black baby carriage descend a staircase and disappear seamlessly into a wading pool of water...

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