Stars Anthony Hopkins as Elliot Hoover, a man who believes the daughter he lost in a car crash eleven years previously has been reincarnated as the now eleven-year-old daughter, Ivy (Susan Swift), of a couple, Bill and Janice Templeton (John Beck and Marsha Mason).
When they they notice Hoover ‘stalking’ them Bill goes to the police but no crime has been committed so the cops aren’t interested. Hoover then approaches Janice and tells her that he will call her husband; he calls Bill and tells him he needs to speak to them. They meet and Hoover explains that his five-year-old daughter, Audrey Rose, and his wife were killed in an accident and he has come to believe that his daughter is alive and has been reincarnated as Ivy. They understandably think he’s crazy. Anyway, they invite Hoover to their house while Bill’s lawyer stays out of sight and takes notes. While at the house Hoover is the only one who can calm Ivy down when she becomes hysterical.
This is riveting stuff, well I thought so, and is every bit the classic. Hopkins is superb as ever and the rest of the cast too with special mention to Susan Swift who was only thirteen when she starred in the film and does a fine job. Robert Wise is a master director (The Day the Earth Stood Still ’51, The Haunting ’63, The Sound of Music ’65 and Star Trek: The Motion Picture ’79 to mention just a few) and his work here is no exception. The film looks sumptuous, really deserving of a Blu-ray release in my opinion, and the story is wonderfully engaging thanks to a strong script and great acting throughout. Yes, it’s very much story and dialogue driven; yes, it’s a very different film to the harrowing The Exorcist ’73 or The Omen ’76, a substantial part of Audrey Rose is courtroom drama and scientific investigation via a hypnotist so if you don’t like that kind of thing then you may not find yourself engrossed at all. But I did and I loved it.
Yes, I would recommend it, absolutely. Because I know horror fans like myself can appreciate a wide range of different kinds of film within the genre they love most. I love gore as much as any horror fan but I also appreciate a well-told tale that while lacking gore, the bloodier side of horror, is focussed on what it wishes to portray and confident enough to go with it.
I said it about V/H/S/2 last night and I’ll say it about Audrey Rose; sublime.