On Halloween night in 1978, NBC aired the television event Stranger in Our House. The movie starred Linda Blair — still a horror commodity due to her legendary work in The Exorcist — and was directed by a then-unknown director named Wes Craven.
The film stars concerns a hard-working farm family who takes in their niece Julia (Lee Purcell) after her parents were killed in a car crash. Blair stars as Rachel, an inquisitive and bright teen who begins to suspect that not everything is what it appears to be with Julia. After a series of strange events begin occurring, Rachel begins looking into Julia’s life and quickly discovers that her seemingly sweet cousin is actually hiding a sinister secret…one that could shatter the lives of everyone she loves. But can she possibly win in a face off against Julia and the forces of black magic in her employ?
Finding out the answer to the above question is a part of the tongue-in-cheek charm of Stranger in Our House. And, thanks to a new DVD and Blu-ray release of the film — renamed Summer of Fear after the Lois Duncan book from which it was based — you can do just that. At times more laughable than anything else, the movie does still possess its share of disquieting chills that foreshadow the future of greatness of Wes Craven. Pair this one with another Blair effort, 1979’s Roller Boogie for your very own super seventies double feature. Believe me, you’ll be glad that you did!