Shortly after murdering his wife, Steve Marak (John Ireland) receives a telephone call. A young woman’s voice utters the words ‘I saw what you did’. Unbeknownst to Marak, the call was an innocent prank. Unbeknownst to the caller and her accomplices, Marak is on the hunt to silence the person on the other end of the line…
Hot on the heels of Final Cut Entertainments DVD release of 1964’s The Night Walker comes the next wave in William Castle’s directorial line, the Joan Crawford-starring I Saw What You Did (1965).
Whether it’s for marketability or who knows what, I still find the sheer contrast between certain classic movies and their soundtracks to be utterly bizarre. Of course, in the case of films such as Wes Craven’s notorious Last House on the Left, the sudden flip from rape and murder to cheery tunes and sunshine only aids the picture in its goal, which is to disturb the shit out of the audience.
Sadly, when it comes to Castle’s I Saw What You Did (1965), for the most part I wished the movie had no musical score at all. What should’ve been a series of tense, creepy and even frightening moments becomes a strange collection of scenes accompanied by music so inappropriate that it destroyed the experience for me. Was I watching a Disney movie or a horror movie?
What makes this all the more frustrating is that aside from the film score, the movie was more or less exactly what I expected it to be and just about everything I wanted it to be. A potentially wonderful introduction to a classic horror/thriller ruined. The premise itself is excellent. Slasher movie gold. Apparently there’s a made-for-TV remake that fails in all the ways that this original succeeds. I can’t win!
I Saw What You Did deserved a 4, perhaps higher, but music is so important and if I’m too ignorant to see how it all gels together then so be it. But I believe, unless circumstance calls for it, that horror pictures should not be scored as if someone is trying to audition to write the theme tune for the next All in the Family spin-off! The movie even ends with a punch-line as if it were a sit-com, followed by extended laughter. You know, as one does…mere moments after nearly being throttled to death…