HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: I Saw What You Did
HTS Overall Score:70
We’ve all been told not to crank call strangers by our parents. I, of course, never listened to them and made copious calls as a young teenager/preteen telling people that their refrigerator was running or that I was desperately in love with them and needed their number (along with a dozen other pranks). “I Saw What You Did” takes that same idea and runs with it under the assumption that ONE of the people you prank may be a bit more than frustrated, and could find you. Insert William Castle, a horror icon of the 1950’s and later with his creepy and disturbing take on a prank call gone wrong. “I Saw What You Did” isn’t nearly as creepy or thrilling as his other entries into the horror genre, and is a bit awkwardly paced, but it certainly does the job for a late night watch.
Amy Nelson (Joan Crawford) and her friend Libby Mannering (Andi Garrett) are just a couple of teenage girls home alone for the evening with nothing to do. After her parents go out for the evening, leaving Libby in charge of her younger sister, Tess (Sharyl Locke), she invites her friend Amy over for an evening of fun. An evening which takes a sudden turn for the worst when the bored girls decide to start prank calling random people in the phone book for hours. While the prank itself is harmless, you’re never sure how the other person will take the good natured “fun”, and this time they’ve got the wrong caller. Steve Marak (John Ireland) has just finished stabbing his wife to death a few minutes ago when the girls call him up and whisper into the phone “I saw what you did and I know who you are”! The terrified man instantly tries to find out how much the girls know, but is unaware that the voice on the other end of the phone is nothing but a teenage girl pranking him.
All might have ended right there had it not been for Libby’s curiosity. Thinking the older man sounds “dashing”, and “charming” she and the girls take their parent’s car out for a spin and go to the address listed in the phone book. Once there Steve is able to get ahold of the car’s registration and follow the trail back to the Mannering house, where he now has to try and finish off the “witness” to his murder.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70602[/img]“I Saw What You Did” doesn’t feel as horrific as it was advertised to be, especially with the name of famed William Castle attached to the director’s chair. There’s one scene in the movie where the Steve murders his wife in the shower ala “Psycho”, but that small segment feels out of place with the tone of the movie. The film starts out with a very “Brady Bunch” feeling opening, like the entire movie is set to be a happy 60’s family film, and then the murder gets in the way. Even throughout the rest of the movie it really feels like the whole film is about Libby learning her lesson about not crank calling people rather than setting up a suspenseful situation. Once Amy leaves for the night with her father and Libby is left home with no one but Tess, the situation starts to get a bit tense again, but that once more feels tonally awkward compared to how the rest of the movie feels.
That being said. The premise of the film is spectacular and really could have bene a Hitchcock style nighmare for the girls, but instead it plays off a bit too safe and happy go lucky. The acting is a bit over the top, as most teenage actresses were during the day, but Tom Ireland is deliciously creepy as the murderous Steve Marak and he is easily the highlight of the film. His presence is ominous and disturbing, especially after you watch his emotionless and seemingly sociopathic murder of his wife, followed up by the sense that he’s going to snap at any moment.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70610[/img]Despite some speckling and a few instances of a random vertical line appearing on screen, “I Saw What You Did” actually looks to be in really good condition. Using the master provided by Universal, Scream has given us a very solid looking picture that is light on digital artifacts and heavy on strong clarity and good detail. The black levels are very solid throughout, being one of the only two colors on screen and there is no major instances of crush or washed out blacks at all. The foggy picture shows detail in all corners of the dimly lit screen and even with the fake “fog” used for the final scene, details and imaging are crisp and clear. There’s some mild softness in Steve’s apartment when he kills his wife, and in the Mannering’s living room when the girls are prank calling, but never anything too egregious.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70618[/img]Presented in its original mono form, the 2.0 DTS-HD MA track is clean and free from any major distortions, and definitely feels like the good old warmth of analog audio. Vocals are readily apparent and blended well with the weird mix of upbeat family tones and the more ominous feel once the killer realizes he’s been “found”. Clarity and imaging in the front sound stage are well balanced and I really can’t say anything negative about the track besides that it wasn’t meant for a 5.1 audience (which is nothing against the encoding whatsoever).
• Photo Gallery
• Original Theatrical Trailer
“I Saw What You Did” is an awkwardly paced film that feels less like a horror movie and more like a “Brady Bunch” film with a little suspense (the music queues feel surprisingly upbeat). William Castle was famous for making creepy and horrific films in the 50’s and 60s (he made the first “House on the Haunted Hill”), but “I Saw What You Did” is a bit light on terror for what was advertised. It is a decently fun flick with a great atmosphere and idea, but is definitely different than the trailer made you think. Audio is actually in really good shape, and video is too, so this entry from Scream Factory is definitely worth it for fans. Recommended for a watch
Starring: Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson
Directed by: William Castle
Written by: William P. McGivens (Screenplay), Ursula Curtiss (Novel)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA Mono
Studio: Scream Factory
Runtime: 82 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 17th 2016
Buy I Saw What You Did On Blu-ray at Amazon
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