AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS! (1973) Reviews and overview

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‘The dead hand that crawls, kills and lives!!!’

–And Now the Screaming Starts! – aka And Now the Screaming Starts – is a 1973 British horror film directed by Roy Ward Baker from a screenplay by Roger Marshall (Shadows ‘The Future Ghost’; What Became of Jack and Jill?; Theatre of Death), based on the novel Fengriffen by David Case.

The Amicus production stars Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham and Ian Ogilvy.

Australian Douglas Gamley (From Beyond the Grave; Tales from the Crypt; The City of the Dead; et al) composed the soundtrack score.

Severin Films released the film on Blu-ray on December 5, 2017, in the United States.

Buy Blu-ray:

  • The Haunting of Oakley Court; – Featurette with Allan Bryce, Author of Amicus: The Friendly Face of Fear, and David Flint, Co-editor of Ten Years of Terror, visit the classic horror film locatio
  • Audio Commentary with Director Roy Ward Baker and Actress Stephanie Beacham
  • Audio Commentary with Ian Ogilvy
  • Archive Audio Interview with Peter Cushing by Denis Meikle
  • Horror Journalist Denis Meikle Recalls And Now the Screaming Starts – Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Radio Spot

In 1795, newlyweds Catherine (Beacham) and Charles Fengriffen (Ogilvy) move into Charles’ stately mansion. Catherine falls victim to a curse placed by a wronged servant on the Fengriffen family and its descendants…


“Late-period Amicus movie in the Gothic tradition which provides reasonable shocks despite routine direction, with Cushing, Lom and Magee adding impact in counterpoint to other barely adequate performances.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook

“Director Roy Ward Baker overuses non-scary gimmicks – disembodied hand, face at the window, etc. – and bad music but the story does have some suspense. Unfortunately, that suspense is overplayed and its revelation is less than compelling.” Mike Mayo, The Horror Show Guide

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” …this atmospheric Gothic horror film is the closest Amicus ever came to emulating the Hammer style. The cast is an exceptionally fine one, particularly Peter Cushing…” Gary A. Smith, Uneasy Dreams

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“Reminiscent of Compton’s Italian-flavoured shocker The Black Torment, the film has some effective acting, particularly from the radiant Stephanie Beacham, but too many of the actors are only on hand to be messily, and sometimes comically, snuffed out moments before divulging crucial information.” Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic

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” …the picture merely engineers a series of shocks linked by the almost incessant screaming of the heroine, although the camerawork and excellent art direction – by Tony Curtis and Fred Carter – making it quite a luscious-looking movie if watched with the soundtrack switched off.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

“It’s nothing great, nothing original but competently handled […] The main flaw is the slow pace at which we learn about the curse. We get half a dozen ghost/hand attacks […] but it’s nearly an hour before we feel suspense.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

“Ian Ogilvy is in fine form as the bewildered husband, and Peter Cushing is his usual professional self as the doctor who investigates the affair. Add the very physical menace of the farmer’s descendant, out for revenge, and you have an interesting mix of a film.” Andy Black, Fragments of Fear

Poorish horror movie with just a couple of shock moments in its favour, including a convincingly mobile severed hand.” Howard Maxford, The A – Z of Horror Films 

“The film might more accurately have been called ‘The Screaming Never Stops’ because Beacham screeches incessantly throughout, an effect more wearing than suspenseful.” Nigel Floyd, Time Out (London)

” …atmosphere and acting are heavy handed…” John Stanley, Creature Features

Choice dialogue:

Doctor Pope (Peter Cushing): “Half the evil in this world is caused by confusing the written word with reality.”

Main cast and characters:

  • Peter Cushing as Doctor Pope
  • Herbert Lom as Sir Henry Fengriffin
  • Patrick Magee as Doctor Whittle
  • Stephanie Beacham as Catherine Fengriffin
  • Ian Ogilvy as Charles Fengriffin
  • Geoffrey Whitehead as Woodsman / Silas
  • Guy Rolfe as Lawyer Maitland
  • Rosalie Crutchley as Mrs Luke
  • Gillian Lind as Aunt Edith
  • Janet Key as Bridget
  • Sally Harrison as Sarah

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Filming locations:

Oakley Court, Berkshire, England, UK (exteriors)

Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!

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