Fright (1971)

35mm film, colour
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Peter Collinson.

Plot Summary

Babysitter Amanda arrives at the home of a rather jumpy Mrs Lloyd and settles down to look after her three-year-old son. But her young ward's father has escaped from a nearby psychiatric hospital and is lurking outside the house…


Directed by: Peter Collinson
© 1971 Fantale Films Ltd.
Fantale Films Ltd presents. Made in association with British Lion Films Ltd.
Produced by: Harry Fine, Michael Style
Production Manager: Tom Sachs
Written by: Tudor Gates
Assistant Director: Scott Wodehouse
Continuity: Joy Mercer
Director of Photography: Ian Wilson
Camera Operator: Roy Ford
Film Editor: Raymond Poulton
Eastmancolor – Processed by: Humphries
Music Composed and Conducted by: Harry Robinson
Sound Mixer: Ken Ritchie
Dubbing Mixer: Bob Jones
Sound Editor: Spencer Reeve
Wardrobe: Jean Fairlie
Make-up: George Blackler
Hairdresser: Pearl Tipaldi
Production Designer: Disley Jones
Set Dresser: Peter Young
Production Accountant: Arthur Cleaver
Produced at: Shepperton Studios, England

Susan George (Amanda)
Honor Blackman (Helen)
Ian Bannen (Brian)
John Gregson (Dr Cordell)
George Cole (Jim)
Dennis Waterman (Chris)
Maurice Kaufmann (police inspector)
Michael Brennan (police sergeant)
Roger Lloyd Pack (constable)
Tara Collinson (Tara)

Alternative Titles

Acosadas por el pánico – Spanish title
L'allucinante notte di una baby sitter – Italian title
Die Fratze – German title
Den Galne hämnaren – Swedish title
Night Legs

See also
Angst (1976)
Halloween (1978)
Trick or Treats (1982)


For the most part, the British press were unimpressed by the film. “Not a jolly horror film,” complained Arthur Thirkell in the Daily Mirror, “no light relief at all. Decidedly gory at times. And if the sight of a madman holding jagged glass inches from a child's throat would disturb you – stay away. […] The film is a calculated, brutal attack on the emotions.” 1Daily Mirror 15 October 1977]. In The Evening Standard, Alexander Walker drew attention to “”the loudest soundtrack outside a pig factory” and noted that “Honor Blackman and George Cole are on the sidelines and may have wished the were even farther back.” 1The Evening Standard 14 October 1971 and The Guardian‘s Derek Malcolm dismissed it as “frightful.” 2The Guardian 14 October 1971

Patrick Gibbs in the Daily Telegraph compared it unfavourably to Collinson's previous film, The Penthouse (1967), calling it “hardly in the same class for efficiency or originality” 3Daily Telegraph 15 October 1971, the Evening News‘s Felix Barker also wondered how “a director as talented as Peter Collinson – he made The Penthouse – come to turn out so unintentionally absurd thriller as this one” 4Evening News 15 October 1971 and John Russell Taylor of The Times commented that the film “returns to the formula of The Penthouse, but with no noticeable advance in skill or maturity.” 5The Times 15 October 1971.

“It all builds up dramatically enough to one of those showdown sieges, but while Miss George screams with great zeal, the dialogue is too flat and pat to do the drama justice,” wrote Cecil Wilson in the Daily Mail 6Daily Mail 16 October 1971, Richard Barkley of the Sunday Express complained that “Peter Collinson exploits mental illness for the sake of shock effect” 7Sunday Express 17 October 1971, Jack Bentley of the Sunday Mirror felt that it was “slight” 8Sunday Mirror 17 October 1971 and the Sunday Telegraph‘s Tom Hutchinson complained that “Mr Collinson directs at the top of his voice as though to convince us that all the nastiness has a valid artistic point. It hasn't.” 9Sunday Telegraph 17 October 1971

A rare complementary tone was struck by Mark Russell-Scarr of The People who said that it was “worth seeing despite its flaws, just for 87 minutes of sheer heart-thumping suspense” 10The People 17 October 1971 while Dilys Powell writing in The Sunday Times seemed unsure of what to make of it, calling it “one of Peter Collinson's horribly competent essays in the horribly stretched nerve. […] No laughing, all screaming.” 11The Sunday Times 17 October 1971


Cinefantastique vol.3 no.3 (Autumn 1974) pp. 34-35 – review
Filmfacts vol.15 no.10 (1972) pp.230-231 – review
Films and Filming vol.18 no.4 (January 1972 pp.55-56 – review
Kine Weekly no.3298 (26 December 1970) p.11 – note
Kine Weekly no.3303 (30 January 1971) p.12 – note
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.38 no.454 (November 1971) p.218 – credits, synopsis, review (by David Pirie)
Today's Cinema no.9867 (22 December 1970) p.16 – credits
Today's Cinema no.9950 (22 October 1971) p.12 – review
Variety 27 October 1971 p.18 – review

Daily Express 14 October 1971 – review (Girl in a nightmare of spooky stupidity by Ian Christie)
Daily Mail 16 October 1971 – review (by Cecil Wilson)
Daily Mirror 15 October 1977 – review (by Arthur Thirkell)
Daily Telegraph 15 October 1971 – review (by Patrick Gibbs)
Evening News 15 October 1971 – review (by Felix Barker)
The Evening Standard 14 October 1971 – review (by Alexander Walker)
The Guardian 14 October 1971 – review (by Derek Malcolm)
The People 17 October 1971 – review (by Mark Russell-Scarr)
Sunday Express 17 October 1971 – review (by Richard Barkley)
Sunday Mirror 17 October 1971 – review (by Jack Bentley)
Sunday Telegraph 17 October 1971 – review (by Tom Hutchinson)
The Sunday Times 17 October 1971 – review (by Dilys Powell)
The Times 15 October 1971 – review (by John Russell Taylor)

Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.143 – credits
X-cert 2: The British Independent Horror Film: 1971-1983 by John Hamilton pp.42-49; 271 – illustrated review; credits