Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Lady In White (1988, Frank LaLoggia)

I think someone mentioned Lady In White in an article about 1980s horror movies that people could let their kids watch. It’s definitely not entirely family friendly fare, yet Frank LaLoggia’s late 1980s cult movie is pretty good and offers up enough creepy moments. It also has elements of drama and fantasy, as it centers around a young boy and his delightful family in the 1960s. I’m reminded of both Ray Bradbury and Stephen King here, which is a good thing.

The movie is rooted in the Lady in White urban legend, which has been around for a long time. Lukas Haas plays Frankie, who after surviving a traumatic experience decides to uncover who a child murder is in his hometown. The initial suspect is the school janitor (Henry Harris), yet Frankie’s dad (Angelo Rodolfo Scarlatti, who is great in the role) and some others aren’t convinced he’s the person the police have been searching for. I liked how the movie was unafraid to confront the racism of the era, and it’s quite sad how some things haven’t changed.

Len Cariou is also really good as Phil, a friend of the family, and I loved both Renata Vanni and Angelo Bertolini as Frankie’s other relatives. Plus Katherine Helmond and Jason Presson as Frankie’s brother also turn in fine performances. Although the movie does sort of drag in parts it’s definitely a well round flick that has a very suspenseful and tragic finale act. I’m glad that Shudder got this one, and I bet if I had seen it as a kid I would love it even more. Still it’s pretty good and folks should definitely check it out.

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