With Halloween approaching, my husband and I have been discussing the scariest movies that we’ve ever seen. We agreed that most so-called scary movies are actually just funny. We recently watched the “Resident Evil” movies, for example, and laughed all the way through them. One movie that did stand out as being truly scary was “Lady in White”.
About “Lady in White”
“Lady in White” is not a new film. In fact, it was released in 1988 (some international releases were a year later). It was written and directed by Frank Laloggia, and is definitely the most memorable of his few films. He seems to have disappeared from Hollywood these days. The film stars a young Lukas Haas–he was only twelve when “Lady in White” was released. This is one of my favorite performances by a child actor.
Why “Lady in White” is scary
Why is “Lady in White” so scary? One of the most important reasons is because “Lady in White” is actually a children’s movie. No, I wouldn’t let my kindergartner watch it. It is designed for older kids/tweens/young teens, though. This is one of the first scary movies that children will see. I remember watching two scary movies when I was probably around ten: “Watcher in the Woods” and “Lady in White”. These movies absolutely terrified me, but in a delicious way.
“Lady in White” has mastered the Hitchcock like style of building up anticipation and tension. The master of suspense himself, Hitchcock, said, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” The tension in “Lady in White” is what makes it so deliciously scary. You don’t actually see anything scary until pretty far into the film, but it is full of allusions and creepy moments that build up the tension.
The Storyline in “Lady in White”
I won’t give too many spoilers about the story line of “Lady in White”, but I’ll set the story up. A boy, Frankie, gets locked in the school cloak room by bullies. Everyone leaves the school and the day fades to night, and Frankie is still upset and alone locked in the small room. Eventually he sees a ghost, and (in a dramatic turn of events I’ll let you see for yourself) he loses consciousness.
As a result of this experience, he finds out about a series of murders. Eleven children have been murdered in his community in previous years, and the murderer has never been caught. Frankie finds himself drawn deeper into the story, and eventually faces the murderer himself.
Why I love “Lady in White”
I love “Lady in White” because it was the first scary movie that I enjoyed. It doesn’t just go for the cheap scares that make you jump for a minute. This goes for a creepy scariness that stays with you. To this day, I am completely creeped out by the Bing Crosby song “If you ever see a dream walking”. If you watch the film, you’ll understand why. It has such a perfectly formed story-line that works for an entire family.
If I rent just one scary movie for Halloween this year, I want it to be “Lady in White”.