30 October 2010 | Cujo108
A married couple and their two children move into an old country estate in rural Pennsylvania. The father spends most of his time working in New York City, but his wife stays home tending to the kids and coming up with various art designs. It isn't long before she's plagued by bizarre happenings, and while her husband is disbelieving, she comes to the conclusion that a devil is haunting the estate.
This TV movie was Steven Spielberg's follow-up to "Duel". While nowhere near that film's level, it is a reasonably effective little haunting yarn. The late Sandy Dennis carries the picture with her frantic, on edge performance. Ralph Bellamy of "Rosemary's Baby" is on the right side of the occult this time as a friendly neighbor who supplies Dennis with info on devils and protection from evil. The haunting is predominately low-key, though it occasionally moves into more pronounced territory when attacking others and even causing a fatal car accident. The creepiest scenes involve the sounds of a baby crying in the still country night and Dennis desperately trying to find out where the cries are emanating from. What she eventually finds makes for a rather disturbing visual.
Less unnerving and more cheesy is a scene where Sandy is flipping out on her son. The aftermath doesn't hit as hard as Spielberg would like it too because of this, but Sandy's performance does lessen the damage. Her husband doesn't seem to think much of it and heads back to New York for more work on the annoying commercial he's been preoccupied with. All of this leads up to a fun, if somewhat limp ending. The climactic surprise is telegraphed well in advance.
As a whole, there's nothing particularly remarkable here, but it all works just fine. Still, I was hoping that "Something Evil" would be something truly special.