Seitz Asks: What’s the scariest made-for-TV horror movie you’ve ever seen?
Seitz Answers: Trilogy of Terror (1975)
The one, the only Trilogy of Terror was directed by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis from three stories by Richard Matheson, starring Karen Black as the heroine of all three tales. If you’re between the ages of 20 and 70, I don’t need to summarize this production, except to say that very few people remember the first two segments, “Julie” and “Millicent and Therese,” but everybody remembers the final segment, “Amelia.” That’s the one with the Zuni fetish doll that chases Amelia around the apartment with its tiny but very sharp spear, shrieking a hideous, high-pitched “Yi yi yi!” At one point, she locks herself in the bathroom, and you can see the doll’s blade going snicker-snick! under the door.
That final segment is so terrifying that it earns the entire production an A. It does for bathroom doors what Psycho did for shower stalls. Runners up include the original Danish version of The Kingdom, the original Salem’s Lot, and It, starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the clown. I’d put the first season of American Horror Story on there if it weren’t at least 70 percent a comedy; the scary stuff is truly scary.
What’s your pick for the scariest made-for-TV horror movie? Miniseries count, too.