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Film / And Now the Screaming Starts!

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And Now the Screaming Starts! is a 1973 British Gothic Horror film from Amicus Productions, directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beachman, and Ian Ogilvy.

England, 1795: Catherine (Beacham) is a young woman engaged to marry Charles Fengriffen (Ogilvy). As she moves into his family's manor, she notices an evil presence in the portrait of his grandfather Henry (Lom). Her suspicions seemingly confirmed when a severed hand attacks her through the picture, Catherine and psychiatrist Dr Pope (Cushing) investigate the mystery of the Fengriffen family, discovering a dark haunting.

This film contains examples of:

  • Angry Guard Dog: The Fengriffen estate has two Rottweilers chained near the front entrance. One breaks free and attacks Catherine.
  • Big Bad: Silas the Woodsman, the ghost haunting the estate.
  • Curse: There is one placed on the Fengriffen family, that the next virgin bride of a member will be violated, then the family will be destroyed, and anybody who tries to stop it will die.
  • Downer Ending: The ghost succesfully impregnates Catherine with his child, driving Charles to madness and leaving Catherine a broken shell of a person.
  • Droit du Seigneur: As it turns out, the haunting was caused by a curse placed on the house by a vengeful woodsman after Henry tried this.
  • Evil Hand: One of the ghost's primary manifestations is a severed hand that can move independently.
  • Eye Scream: The ghost has his eyes gouged out.
  • Foreshadowing: The first thing Catherine asks about the house when she arrives is if there are ghosts there. Not ten minutes later in movie time does the ghost show up.
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the backstory, Henry Fengriffen goes from debauched, sadistic rapist to desperate atoner.
  • Occult Detective: The Fengriffen family doctor contacts a psychologist named Dr. Pope, who ends up investigating the haunting while trying to treat Catherine's distress.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: A vengeful spirit is bound to Earth in order to make sure his curse is carried out by literally raping and impregnating a woman, with its offspring bearing all of the injuries the spirit endured while alive.
  • Rape as Drama: Of the supernatural kind.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Despite the fact that it was Henry Fengriffen who raped the Woodsman's wife, he places a curse on the next virgin to marry into the family, dooming her to be raped.
  • Shout-Out: Dr. Pope consults the Malleus Maleficarum multiple times during his investigation.
  • Virgin Power: Charles reads a passage about "true virginity" being a guard against the supernatural. Unfortunately, as his wife's pregnancy proves, neither is virginal.