Penny Applebee (Susan Strasberg) grew up with her mother after her parents divorced when she was quite young. After her mother’s death, the wheelchair-bound Penny accepts her father’s invitation to live with him in France.
She arrives to learn that her father is away, though her stepmother, Jane (Ann Todd) – who she is meeting for the first time – proves to be quite welcoming.
On her first night, she sees a light in the summerhouse and, upon investigation, sees her father (Fred Johnson) sitting there, apparently quite dead. Others can find no trace and tell her she must have imagined it.
She later sees his body in the library and then again in the pool. She deduces that her stepmother and her father’s friend, the family doctor Dr Pierre Gerard (Christopher Lee), are plotting to drive her insane.
Bob the chauffeur (Ronald Lewis) provides a sympathetic ear, believing there must be some rational explanation.
Released in the US as Scream of Fear, Christopher Lee called it “the best film Hammer ever made”.
Dr Pierre Gerrard