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10 May 2014 @ 03:32 am
Movie Reviewed: "Carnage" p1 of 2  

(1983-Mill Creek or 1984-IMDB)

Starring: Leslie Den Dooven, Michael Chiodo, John Garitt, Deeann Veeder
DIR: Andy Milligan (OH, NO!)

Blurb: A newlywed couple moves into their new home and are ready to settle into their new life together. After settling in, the couple begins experiencing some strange occurrences in the home and discovers, to their horror, the truth behind them. It seems the former owners of the home were a newlywed couple that committed suicide years before and are now haunting the place.

Warning: Spoilers are a thing around here. Also - some screen caps will contain vicious grue (on a budget).

Scene 01: We start on a pre-credits scene with a shot of a rambling old home on a hill and a dog's incessant barking. After several moments, we camera-jump forward, still looking at the home. The dog's non-stop barking is joined by a Wedding March.

Scene 02: Indoors now, we see a record player playing our March. We're privy to a young couple dressed in white, gazing lovingly into one another's eyes. They hold their gaze for several moments before sharing a short peck. The woman of our couple gives the impression of being in a state of trepidation, while our male seems serene.

Our couple stand and embrace one another. Woman tells Man that she loves him before they lean in for another kiss, this one with a bit more passion than the peck earlier. He declares his returned love and there is more kissing. The record plays on.


With their embrace, Man picks up a gun from the table and points the .22? .25? - I don't know guns - at the back of bride's head. He sends a bullet through her. As the record reaches its end, he gives Dead Bride a last peck on the lips and then follows suit with the gun to his head.


Commentary: Andy Milligan. I've heard oft-awful things about this particular director's work, so I wasn't looking forward to this excursion. But, I have to say that this opening was not at all badly done... except for holding the shots a bit too long to make sense, and that stupid effing dog in the background. But the actors didn't do a bad job and they were attractive enough. I've heard this is one of the better Milligan flicks, so we may be able to get through this without a lot of pausing out of boredom.

Credits -- dramatic music -- shots of interior of the home.

Scene 03: Three years later, we're looking at the home in an identical shot from the opening. The dog is still alive... and still barking incessantly.

[I'm already imagining the reveal that the dog is responsible for the suicides, because how frickin' much could anyone take of that constant, unending noise?]

On the front porch, we spy an older gentleman. He's leading our main couple to the front door to show off the home, obvs being the realtor.

Apparently the couple has just closed on it, because wife talks about it finally being theirs. After coming in, Husband remembers that they didn't do that right. He picks her up and they exit to the porch so that he can carry her over the threshold. She laughs gaily. Realtor no doubts rolls his eyes as he has other  things to do.

These are the Hendersons - Jonathan and Carol. They both express how happy they are that they bought their new home.

Scene 04: Jump cut to the chiming clock which reveals it's 11am. The realtor apologizes to the Hendersons that he needs to be on his way. He asks them for the final signatures to turn over the property to them.

[At first his shifty glances made me think that he was suddenly uncomfortable in the house due to the clock chiming the hour. I thought that was suggesting that previous couple's deaths came around 11am and he wanted to get out of there. Apparently this was completely wrong and he was just being apologetic for interrupting their bliss, because when he's fiddling with his papers, he acts completely normal. Too bad.]

As they're signing the final papers, it becomes apparent that it took longer to settle the probate on the house than expected, but the realtor congratulates the Henderson's on their bargain.

The clock chimes the hour again and the realtor rushes out as he's running late now. During the conversation, it's mentioned that the phones aren't on yet, but should be connected the following day.

With realtor finally out the door, our couple enthusiastically embrace with large smiles.

Scene 05: Outside on the porch, realtor nearly turns back for something. But then doesn't. We follow him down the path through the yard. He glances back once, nods his head, and scurries off.

[No idea. Is he feeling guilty? Is he just happy to have sold such a large property? Is he just burning off run time?]

Scene 06: Back in the foyer, our couple make plans to go out to dinner. There is the implication that money is running tight with the purchase of the house. Before running out, Carol decides to do some of the unpacking that is waiting for them.


She removes the dust covers from a piano in the corner. There she finds the wedding photo of our suicide couple, and she wonders why they would leave it behind.

[Back in this day, it wasn't a requirement to make full disclosures over bad events that took place in a home.]

Jonathan takes the photograph and mentions they are an attractive couple. The frame then falls to the floor. Carol calls him butterfingers, but he insists that he didn't drop it. As he turns his attention back to the other dust covers-covered furniture, Carol suggests tea.

Scene 07: In the kitchen, Carol putzes around with lighting the gas burner for the kettle and then futzes with cups and saucers.

Scene 08: She returns to the music room to find Jonathan not there and he doesn't answer to her calls. The clock chimes the quarter hour. Carol sits down on a chair still shrouded in a dust cover and removes her shoes, drained by the long day they've had so far, and it's still so early.

It turns out that Jonathan was sitting in the chair. He reaches around and grabs hold of her, tackling her to the floor as she screams-laughs over the fright. He starts getting frisky with her, but the tea kettle goes off in the kitchen, interrupting.

After a bliss-kiss, she drags him off to the kitchen.

Commentary: Okay, so... we kind of don't need anymore 'establishing-the-newlyweds' shots, but I will say that these scenes have established our characters well and Leslie and Michael are showing some good chemistry together that makes it easy to see them as a couple.

Scene 09: In the kitchen, Carol gets the water while directing her new husband to the tea. We watch them barely steep their tea bags, blow on the hot water, sip their hot tea....

As they're doing this, they're interrupted by the opening sounds of the Wedding March and go back into the music room.

Scene 10: There, they find that record player has mysteriously started on its own. They remove the record and place it in a random place before returning to the kitchen, discussing dinner plans again.

Scene 11: In the kitchen, Jon asks about his tea, finding the cup missing. Carol finds the teacups, bags steeping and set gently on their saucers sitting in the sink. She's puzzled. He says she must've done it without thinking.

Another kiss.

Which is then interrupted by the sound of the phone ringing, despite its not yet being turned on, supposedly. Carol rushes out to answer it.

Scene 12: When Carol answers, no one is on the line. There's also no dial tone. They share puzzled looks.

Commentary: This scene almost works... almost. It's held on a few seconds too long, again and the music cue is a bit too loud to work properly. But the biggest issue is that we keep walking back and forth between the music room and the kitchen and discussing dinner later... repetitively.

The mysterious record, tea being moved and disconnected phone ringing were all good, low-key oddness but they're surrounded by scenes with the same basic dialog being repeated which dulls the tension before it can really be established for us.

Scene 13: Apparently later in the evening, Carol has run a bubblebath for her new husband. There is some salty talk and more making out between our newlyweds. They decide to put off his bath to get with the hot lovin'.

The dog continues barking outside.

Commentary: Really, this mutt is annoying! It won't SHUT UP!

Also, this scene is shot a bit weird. We end up in the hallway, with the door closed on us. As you can guess, this implies that we'll pick up our couple sometime later... but we don't. We're suddenly joining them for the continuous scene in the bedroom. It's weird to shut the door on the camera, if we're not using that as a time-skip transition.

Scene 14: In the bedroom, robes are discarded. Carol is in a matching nightdress. He's in droopy-whities, which are never, ever sexy.

With our newlyweds in bed, he turns out the light and the camera pans across the room.

The clock chimes midnight.

Scene 15: In the bathroom, the ignored tub of water gives a few burps.

We pan around the house, down the flight of stairs.

Our romance music fades into dread-music. We continue skip-panning around and end up back in the kitchen. While there we see a gas burner turned on and the oven open by itself. Deadly gas begins to fill the downstairs, as we continue panning.

Panning, panning, panning.

Panning shots we just watched, now reversed. Panning, Panning.

Scene 16: Back in the bedroom, our couple are snuggled. We saw Carol opening the windows so they should be fine, as long as there aren't any sparks downstairs. The outdoor's dog CONTINUES TO BARK.

Pan-Listen to barking-Pan-listening to barking.

The bedroom, door creeps open. DOG DOES NOT SHUT UP. As we listening to the dog barking without let up and wonder where the hell the owner is and why no one is complaining about the constant racket, we see the windows begin to slide shut by unseen hands.

In bed, our couple continue slumbering, but somehow, Carol has ended up on the completely opposite side of the bed than she was on just minutes ago.

The second window is slid shut as our couple slumbers onward, unaware of their extreme danger.

Scene 17: Next Morning... Shots of house. Dog barks.

We go inside where we're in the kitchen. The stove repair man is there, as Jon tells him that if he hadn't woken up, who knows what could've happened. Stove Repairman can't find any leaks, despite Carol insisting that she's only used the burner once since they've just moved in and she's quite sure that she didn't leave it on.

Commentary: Okay, really? We don't see them waking up in a panic over their brush with death? We're told about it nonchalantly the next day??


Scene 18: With nothing amiss found, Carol walks Stove Repairman out.

[This scene is stupidly empty. She doesn't just walk him to the door, or onto the porch, but continues walking along the entire path to the street... AND we get to watch every single footfall. I really thought that there was going to be something... maybe Carol acting possessed and hitting on him unexpectedly... but no. The entire scene is to add runtime as we continue to watch Repairman walk off down the block. And that fucking dog is STILL barking!]

Stove Repairman returns to his car and fiddles with his keys. Carol watches for a moment and then turns to walk back up to the house.

Scene 19: In the bedroom, Jon is dressing in his business suit for the day. He leaves the house to intercept Carol who is hanging out in the front yard, where she's putting on gardening gloves to putz around.

He kisses her goodbye.

They walk together down the path to the street. [Because, we can't see enough of this sidewalk.]

She walks him to his car. She walks back up the path from the street.

Scene 20: Back in the yard, Carol finds her gardening tools missing from where she was sure she left them.

As Carol looks around in frustration, a pair of garden shears slides from underneath a bush onto the path at her feet. She doesn't notice that they moved on their own when she spots them. As she trims a hedge, we get an extremely brief shot of something.

[I cannot figure out what this is, what it should be representing, or why it is here. Is this a car rearview mirror? On the ground? Showing a... smokestack?]


As our happy newlywed goes around the back of the house, the mysterious object falls to the ground to her side.

This leaves her puzzled, but she quickly gets back to some weeding... or starts to anyway, when the phone rings inside. She quickly runs for the house, tossing the shears aside. We see them move themselves deeper into the bushes.

Scene 21: The phone call is her father checking in on her as he mixes up breakfast. She tells him how much she loves the house, as unnoticed by her, a candlestick slides across the little table the phone is sitting on.

Her father tells her about a pair of tickets he has for some show coming up, and Carol goes off to fetch a paper and pencil to write down the information. At the desk she's headed toward, we see the pad of paper there slide underneath the blotter.

Scene 22: This sends her off to the kitchen after telling her father she needs to find some paper. As she's in there anyway, she lights up the stove for tea. We see some more things sliding around on a shelf that she fails to notice.

Scene 23: Back at the phone, she finds it hung back in its cradle. She gives it a long puzzled look and glances around the house, briefly entertaining that someone else might be there. But she then re-dials her father.

As she's talking to her father, again the candlestick moves at her elbow which she doesn't see. She does tell her dad that she feels like she's being watched. She notices that the candlestick doesn't appear to be where she thought it was, but her dad interrupts before she can mention anything more as someone is at his apartment door buzzing.

He never does give her the information that she wanted to jot down.

Scene 24: As Carol is getting her tea, at her father's he's having a snappish conversation with presumably "Martha". Whether she is a housekeeper of some sort, or Carol's mother, I couldn't tell yet. It turns out to be the housekeeper.

Carol's dad goes toward his bedroom to change from his robe.

Commentary: Really? We needed to see this? I'm starting to notice why this movie hasn't received at least an average score on IMDB. We're 24 minutes in, and the haunts have been pretty low-key, other than the attempt to gas them -- whose conclusion we didn't even get to see.

I'm also wondering if Carol at the stove making tea is to be a repetitive element.

Scene 25: Back at the Henderson's new place, Carol has taken the tea kettle from the stove burner, even though the water isn't hot. She goes to slice up an apple, instead. The tea kettle moves to the edge of the stove and then falls to the floor of its own accord... and sounds entirely empty, so it's a good thing that she did take it off the heat.

Carol returns with a rag to wipe up the spilled water from the tumbled kettle. Before she completes this task, she returns to the little cabinet where a cutting board has been placed to slice up that apple. A knife holder has been hung on the wall here and we see it moving.

As she has her hand resting on the cutting board [in a totally ridiculously unnatural way, where it can turn into an obvious fake hand] a knife falls from the hanging holder and lands point up on the cutting board, slicing her finger as it does so.

She freaks out and spends several seconds looking for bandages in the kitchen, while overacting as if her finger has been hacked off.

Commentary: We also get some really weird shots of blood drops landing in the sink. What makes it so weird, is that it looks like Andy cut between each blood drop so there is some really weird edit marks. It's hard to describe exactly, but if you saw this scene, you'd understand. There is just this jerky quality, as a sudden light change in between each blood drop showing up in the bottom of the sink. It's really a bizarre way to film some drops of blood falling into the bottom of a kitchen sink, and I can't imagine what the thought would've been behind it.

It's also a really weird sequence because Carol's actions are continually aborted: She goes to make tea, but doesn't. She goes to clean up the water on the floor, but doesn't. She goes to grab a knife to slice the apple, but doesn't.

And then, once her finger is sliced, she completely overreacts.

It's also a little weird that we have things like turning on the gas while they're sleeping and deliberately injuring her juxtaposed with "pranks" like moving gardening tools and hanging up phones. I'm hoping that this will be explained as one of the ghosts only wanting attention, while the other is malevolent, otherwise this intermixing of mild annoyance with potentially deadly isn't going to make sense.

Scene 26: We get a shot of the exterior of the house and an echoing booming sound effect of doom. It's evening, and we join Jon in his bathrobe and toweling his hair. He tells Carol that it was only an accident and then confirms that she wasn't sliced too badly. Carol meanwhile is brushing out her hair, as we find they're in the bedroom readying for bed.

[Amazingly the dog isn't out there barking! YAY!!]

She almost tells him about her weird feelings about the house that day, but decides against it. They instead share information about their discussions with friends and family about the upcoming house warming they're going to have.

There is some more domestic bliss stuff. [And I don't believe it. The barking dog has returned! BOO!!]

She suggests they get to bed. She seems to want romance, but he's too tired to oblige. We slowly pan from the bed to their window [the dog continues to bark non-stop].

Commentary: Y'know - in a way I can admire taking the time for the domestic stuff. It makes Carol and Jon into real people, having real mundane moments in their mundane life before they realize that things have gotten weird and dangerous.

BUT - We're coming on 28 minutes into this now. We need to have less wandering dialog and scenes that aren't going to add anything plot relevant and get into the meat of the story. According to the 50 Movie Pack jacket, the run time is 91 minutes. This is going to be too long, I can tell. It would have probably been better to crowd these sorts of scenes into the first 20 minutes, punctuated with fewer "objects moving" stuff but keeping Carol's knife accident and skipping her father's scenes completely.

It wouldn't have been too hard to bring the run time down to 75 minutes, which should be more than adequate to tell this story... if it would even need that. The dog was probably beyond Milligan's control, so I can overlook it due to the obvs low budget film making, but the continued shots of Carol wandering around and the shots of the outside of the house aren't necessary. The reason we saw so much of the home in "The Amityville Horror" [which seems to be the inspiration for this film] is because that house was unique looking with the windows-for-eyes look. The house actually did look as if it could be evil --- this house? Not so much. Although, I think that more could've been done to at least push us in that direction... the yard seems heavily planted, so Andy could've played up Carol feeling isolated from the city around her and could've put the heavy shade and shadows to better use. Instead of following her around so much outside, it also would've helped to shoot her from inside the house, second floor, looking down at her going about her business. It would've given more frisson to her mention of feeling watched. We really didn't see any reactions or behavior by her that would've suggested that she was getting chills or otherwise felt like eyes were on her until she happened to ask her dad if he'd ever felt like he was being watched over the phone.

Scene 27: At around 3am, as the clock is chiming downstairs, we see the Wedding March record floating across the music room and headed toward the player. Our newlyweds are startled awake by the slamming open of a door and the loud playing of the March from downstairs.

They put on their robes and rush downstairs. There, Jon grabs the record off the player and smashes it onto the floor to Carol's consternation. They hear a woman's scream from off in the distance.

Carol freaks and insists he shouldn't have done that, but he tells her it was just an old record. She insists that it was more than that, but she can't explain what she means. They hold each other -- apparently ignoring that clear scream of someone in trouble.

Scene 28: In the basement, objects are violently thrown around as the screaming woman continues to yell out her rage at the record's destruction.

[Presumably, the couple upstairs isn't hearing any of this.]

Scene 29: The following day, a woman we've not met yet makes herself a pot of tea. Meanwhile her daughter comes out of her room, having just showered, in her robe and a towel around her hair. Woman asks Daughter about Carol's housewarming.

She tells her that it's on Saturday, but she doesn't want to go. Apparently she's had a tiff with her husband, but her mother tells her that is no reason to ruin Carol and Jon's party. She tells her daughter that she'll go and she'll paste a smile on her face. She asks if she wants breakfast, but her Daughter isn't hungry. Woman complains that Daughter hardly ate the night before. She points out that Daughter is eating for two, now.

We get an extended conversation between Woman and Pregnant Daughter where it comes out that Daughter's husband, Walter doesn't yet know that she's carrying his child. Daughter complains that she simply can't tell him, as she's afraid he'll think she's trying to trap him. Mother tells her she's being ridiculous as they've been married for three years, but Daughter complains that it's wearing them down already [presumably as their fighting is showing].

There is more advice, and sarcasm and a relatively unsympathetic Mother. They end up arguing with Mother having already invited Walter over for lunch where she expects Daughter to smooth things over with her husband so she can have her apartment to herself.

Commentary: And NONE of this is relevant to Carol and Jon, whose story this is! Why are we wasting all of this Lifetime Movie drama on this woman's domestic problems and finding out all about her mother's life??

This isn't even Jon or Carol's parents, where it might be halfway justifiable.

The dialog is also a bit repetitive here, and I got the feeling that parts of it may have even been improvised by the actresses, who both do a relatively good job, but the amount of time we've spent with them and their strife isn't needed for Carol and Jon's story.

Scene 30: Meanwhile, at the Henderson's, Carol is greeting the new housekeeper. Mrs. Novak, or Rose as she prefers, is warned about the step staircase to the basement as Carol follows her down to go over what needs to be done to get the new house in shape.

The ladies find their path blocked by cobwebs over the entrance that Carol doesn't remember being there before, but this is quickly swept aside so that they can start going through dish and stemware boxes. The basement also has dismal lighting.

After Carol is finished showing her the boxes to start with, she goes back upstairs. Rose Novak is left humming to herself as she putzes around a bit. We get a "finger-on-wet-glass squeak" which we've come to understand means ghostly activity. As per in the kitchen and music room, it denotes items moving on a bench behind Rose, which she doesn't notice.

[And which is becoming quite repetitive. If your ghosts have begun with turning on lethal gas and dropping knives in an attempt to impale Carol, does it make sense to keep showing the "item moving but it's not noticed" gag?]

As Rose starts unpacking her first box, several items get in on the bench slide trick; None of this is noticed. We also see several possibly lethal tools twitching around on a rack as Rose goes about her business.

Commentary: The only issue I really have with this scene is that once again, it's drawn out a bit too long with buildup that wasn't really needed. And, as mentioned above, the "items move around" deal is wearing thin -- especially since this little things should be leading up to the more serious attacks, rather than being intermingled indescriminately with the actual dangerous stuff.

In addition, Carol's intent was for the elderly Rose not to lift any boxes, which you'd think would preclude her actually doing anything in the basement. Wouldn't it have made more sense for Jon to bring the boxes up to one of the large number of spare rooms this home must have and have Rose unpack and clean there? Leaving her in the basement, unpacking dishes which will then need to be carried up later doesn't make any sense -- especially with the  low-level lighting available down there.

And this way, they could have had a minor attack on Jon. He could tell Carol that he felt like somebody had tried to push him down the stairs. This would've been shrugged off naturally, but it could then help Carol later realize that there is something going on in her new home as more circumstantial evidence and odd occurances mount.

Scene 31: Upstairs, Carol is on the phone.

Scene 32: Downstairs, Rose is being terrified by flying bits of debris. She tries to run... but, well, she's elderly so it just looks funny. Dead Bride's apparition appears to cut her off from fleeing out of the outside door to the yard.

Dead Bride corners her laughing before disappearing, leaving Rose to nearly faint in relief. She starts toward the stairs, only to be cut off by the Dead Bride again, and some more mysterious cobwebs.

Scene 33: Upstairs, Carol is suddenly at the basement door trying to get it open as Mrs. Novak screams some more.


Commentary: Yes, that was a clumsy editing job. What, exactly, was the point of showing us Carol on the phone? We didn't really need to know what she was up to, since it was nothing and the action was taking place with Mrs. Novak.


Scene 34: As Carol is struggling with a door that keeps slamming shut as she tugs against it, Dead Bride is ordering Rose to get out of her house, as the housekeeper continues screaming in horror. With Rose not moving her feet, Dead Bride turns to choking her... or trying....

Commentary: As is so often the case in bad movies, choking out a victim seems to have no impact on their ability to continue to scream repetitively.

Scene 35: Carol just turns away from the door in frustration at her being unable to get it to open, when it creeps open all on its own. She dashes down the stairs and calls for Rose. There is not a reply.

Carol locates Rose heaving breaths and in a state of shock.

Scene 36: We sudden-jumpcut over to an apartment high rise. After a few establishing shots and some police sirens, we find that we're in Rose's apartment, where she's lying on her bed in a state of near catatonia.

Carol, Jon and Doctor Marcus is at her bedside. The doctor states there isn't much they can do and just have to hope that she finds her way out of her unresponsive state. They retire to the front door, where the doctor further indicates that he hasn't been able to locate any family members for the poor dear.

Commentary: Let's just say that this scene is filled with fail: What the hell is Rose doing in her apartment, rather than in a hospital? Why are the police not there questioning what happened, after the establishing shot made sure to include all of those police sirens? Why is a doctor hanging out in Rose's apartment, if he's not a relative of hers? Why did Carol say something that the mic didn't pick up and wasn't ADR'd later so we know what she said? If Rose's insurance isn't going to cover an actual hospital room, shouldn't there at least be a duty nurse... is the doctor just going to move in... or leave the old broad there when he's presumably doing his actual job in an office or clinic? Why would the doctor be making phone calls to identify Rose's next of kin, rather than police?

Okay - filming on a budget, but you couldn't dress up an empty room a little and have the doctor in a lab coat with a "detective" asking a few basic questions??

Scene 37: In the bedroom, Rose continues to stare at the ceiling, traumatized. She begins to panic and hyperventilate. She sits up and tries to work up to a scream.


She manages to pull herself out of bed, as we hear Dead Bride echo-calling to her. She's compelled by Dead Bride to grab a straight razor from the bathroom. With a crazy smile, as the Dead Bride echo-calls to her to "get out", Rose does the inevitable and slashes her throat open.



Commentary: Okay, despite the stupid set up, this scene was done very well. We could've used less of the silly echo-voiced Dead Bride over it, but Lola Ross does an excellent job with appearing first in trauma and then out of her mind as she realizes she needs to slit her own throat to escape. The special effect is also simple, but quite effective and I really like the shot of her lying on the floor, with the carotid spurting as she waits to bleed out.

Since she felt a bit clumsy in her scenes with Carol in the basement, this sudden really good acting job caught me by surprise and definitely added some chill to the scene. KUDO to her and to Andy for the shot composition on this one.

Scene 38: Sudden jump cut to Carol's father's apartment. He's telling her that she did all that she could for Mrs. Novak and doesn't want to hear any more about it. What's done is done and whatever happened wasn't her fault.

Carol, unsurprisingly, finds no comfort in her dad's assurances and is still obvs quite upset.

[Also, I believe that he was who she was talking to on the phone about a lunch date on Tuesday before things went to hell for Rose, so I believe this is a few days later, as indicated by her change of clothes. That jump cut was really sudden and disorienting.]

Carol expresses that she's sure that something happened in the cellar that is connected to the house somehow, though her dad is not inclined to listen to her feelings. Martha, the apparent cook for her father, comes out suddenly and tells her to sell the house. To Carol's surprise, she elaborates that it sounds like there is a devil in the home and she should just sell it and get out.

Carol wants to know more about the house's history. Father says that it's just an odd occurrence that doesn't mean anything. Martha repeats there is a devil in the house and she should sell it. Dad continues being jerky toward Martha.

Scene 39: Sudden jump cut to Relatively Unsympathetic Mother's apartment. She's talking to Pregnant Daughter's husband, Walter on the couch, where he's just told her that he's found a place for he and Pregnant Daughter to go away in upstate New York to work on their rocky marriage. Pregnant Daughter is Ann.

Unsympathetic Mother asks Walter about his ongoing marital problems and he relates that her daughter never seems to be satisfied with anything that he does. He's hoping that the new home he's closing on will give he and Ann a fresh perspective and reinvigorate their love.

[Uhm - because the financial stress and unfamiliar surroundings of a new home is exactly the thing to repair a marriage?? Urrr....]

Relatively Unsympathetic Mother [and let's be clear, she's only this to Ann -- she is very clearly on Walter's side going in] thinks this sudden financial burden and moving her daughter to a place she doesn't know away from all of her support system while she's pregnant is a fabulous idea. [She's not the "World's Best Mom" award winner of 1983/1984 for nothing.]

Their conversation is interrupted by a door buzz. It's Ann making her sarcastic return from grocery shopping. Unsympathetic Mother mentions the pregnancy without spoiling it and Ann says she's saving that news. She turns attention to the lucky break that Carol and Jon got on their home, it being completely furnished already.

Small chat goes on about nothing in particular.

Scene 40: Back in the Land Of Home Exteriors And Barking Mutts, some guy stalks up the walk to the porch. He appears to want to break in [UGGGHHH. I have a real pet peeve about Day-for-Night shots badly done, and this is the worst].

As skalker continues to skalk, we see plant life bending as if someone not visible is walking through it. The dog continues to bark relentlessly and yet doesn't seem to be bothering anyone [in movie, anyway].

The sun ... er... bright moon continues gleaming as Skalker shiftily moves around the outside of the home in his sun...er... moonlight glasses.

A garden gnome spins to watch him. The barking dog gets closer, still barking. Skalker doesn't notice.

Skalker returns to the head of the path and gives a sharp whistle. He's joined by Skalker-Lite.