Stranger in Our House

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Summer of Fear" redirects here. For the album by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, see Summer of Fear (album).
Stranger in Our House
Summer of fear.jpg
Theatrical poster
Genre Horror
Distributed by NBC
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Bill Finnegan
Patricia Finnegan
Max A. Keller
Micheline H. Keller
Screenplay by Glenn M. Benest
Max A. Keller
Based on The novel Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan
Starring Linda Blair
Lee Purcell
Jeremy Slate
Music by John D'Andrea
Michael Lloyd
Cinematography William K. Jurgensen
Production company Keller Entertainment Group
Language English
Original channel NBC
Release date 31 October 1978 (USA)
Running time 98 min.

Stranger in Our House (also released as Summer of Fear) is a 1978 American horror television film directed by Wes Craven and starring Linda Blair. It tells the story of a teenage girl who begins to suspect that her cousin may be a practitioner of black magic and witchcraft after she comes to live with their family.


The story is about a girl, Rachel Bryant (Linda Blair), who lives with her wealthy family in a nice house in the hills of Northern California. After her mother's sister, brother-in-law, and housekeeper die in a horrible car crash, the couple's daughter, Julia (Lee Purcell) comes to live with them. Julia seems a little shy if anything, but as time goes on, she begins to put an alluring spell over everyone she meets, pulling all of Rachel's family and friends away from her. After finding some odd things that belong to Julia (including a human tooth and burnt hair from Rachel's horse Sundance), Rachel begins to suspect that her cousin may be a practitioner of witchcraft, and she's hell-bent on turning Rachel's life upside down. Her open disbelieved suspicions caused her to become an outcast in front of her family.



The film marked starlet Linda Blair's third leading role in a horror film, following her Oscar-nominated performance in The Exorcist and its sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic. In his DVD commentary, director Wes Craven recalled that Blair had recently "gotten into some trouble" prior to filming (meaning her December 1977 drug bust); also that he was plainly inspired by Roman Polanski's work, and tried to carefully build a sense of paranoia and suspense in the film's narrative.

Filming Locations[edit]

The home used in the movie is located at 5950 Spring Valley Road, Hidden Hills, California. The house was owned by comic actor Sinbad from 1997 until 2010, when he was forced to sell for his debts for the price of $1.8 million to Rugby Hall of Famer Shawn Lipman.


The film first aired on television on NBC on Halloween night, 1978. Airing opposite the occult-thriller Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell starring Richard Crenna, Stranger In Our House fared a disappointing second place in the Nielsen ratings. The movie was then sold to CBS, and ultimately was re-titled Summer of Fear (also the title of the Lois Duncan book on which it was based) and given a theatrical release in Europe.[citation needed]

The film was widely unavailable on home video for several decades until 2003 when it was released in the United States through Artisan Entertainment on VHS and DVD, under the Summer of Fear title.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMovie called the film "a modestly entertaining horror item."[1] While the film hasn't garnered enough reviews to receive a rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, all four listed reviews are negative.[2]


  1. ^ Binion, Cavett. "Summer of Fear (1978) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Stranger in Our House (Summer of Fear) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 

External links[edit]