The Appointment – UK, 1981

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The Appointment is a 1981 British horror feature film written and directed by Lindsey C. Vickers (The Lake, 1978 short). The movie stars Edward Woodward (The Wicker Man), Jane Merrow (Hands of the Ripper; Night of the Big Heat) and Samantha Weysom.

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Plot:

A teenage schoolgirl violinist who has an insatiable need for attention from her father invokes a dark force to eliminate her rival in the woods, thus granting her the star spot in the orchestra. However, her troubled father has to unexpectedly drive to a work appointment in a Ford Granada…

Reviews:

“If it had opened in cinemas, would it have made Vickers’ name? That’s debatable. The press probably would have liked the stylishness and the symbolism. But the story is hard to follow and there have been many complaints that the prologue seems to have no relevance. Woodward’s is also the only outstanding performance. Merrow’s is stilted and as the daughter Samantha Weysom is most peculiar but not in a good way.” David McGillivray, The Spooky Isles

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“It’s a nice idea, but it’s so badly handled, although to his credit, Vickers does pull off one or two memorable moments – the photograph of Joanne and Ian which suddenly changes so that he’s now looking away from her; the apple which ‘falls’ upwards, out of the car’s shattered windscreen; the (never explained) killing of Sandy. It all suggests that The Appointment might have been so much better as a short film…” Kevin Lyons, The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Films and Television

“The padded out tale of predestination has some satisfactorily realised dream sequences but the special effects and predetermined conclusion fail to thrill due to relatively cheap theatrics and uninspired camerawork. Edward Woodward apart, the acting is wooden and well below par. The obscure film failed to secure any theatrical bookings of note and was ultimately released on video in 1982.” BritMovie.co.uk

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“The film itself is no lost masterpiece – it’s slow and creaky at times – but is punctuated by sequences that are truly surreal, heightened and genuinely creepy, more so because most of the film has a flat TV movie-like quality, and the films overall mundane vibe only serves to heighten the freakiness when it occurs.” David W. Hall, Davoverse

“The dogs and other supernatural elements that Vickers conjures might be agents of the disappointed daughter, some sort of divine punishment for Ian’s minor transgression, or a purgatory devised to punish him for some uncertain sin. The Appointment offers rooms for many interpretations, and is all the more beguiling as a result.” Jeremy Heilman, Movie Martyr

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