Crowhaven Farm (TV) : Release Year - 1970

Overall Rating : 5/10

Directed By : Walter Grauman

Hope Lange (Clear and Present Danger)
Paul Burke (Valley of the Dolls)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Blank)
John Carradine (The Howling)

Supplied By : TrueGore Vintage DVD


Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : Jan. 11, 2007


A young couple inherits a farm. Hoping that the rural location might help to patch up their strained marriage, they move into it, only to be confronted by the supernatural forces that inhabit it.
At the beginning of the 1970's TV thriller CROWHAVEN FARM, the cousin of Maggie Porter inherits a farm in which the title is derived. In the deceased relatives will, it states should he not be able to claim the said farm within 30 days, Maggie and Husband Ben would take over ownership - well as movies usually go, the cousin dies in a firey crash on his way to the Crowhaven Farm. As the new owners Maggie and Ben move in, and at first impression, the farmhouse seems ideal for the couple whom has been having trouble as of late - most problems stemming from their inability to have a child. For Maggie, from walking the corridors of the house to meeting a somewhat creepy handyman, she doesn't feel right about the place, and her Husband has a hard time understanding why. As they stay in the farmhouse for the next few nights, Maggie begins having weird dreams that are more like flashbacks, of a group of witches performing a sacrifice... and get this the woman looks just like her. Puzzled by the dreams she is having she goes to a psychiatrist and begins to read a book on the witches od the local town - which all of Maggie's paranoia leads to more strain in her marriage, not to mention that a studly business man named Kevin Pierce comes into the picture, offers Mrs. Porter a job, and this makes her insecure husband jealous. In order to patch things up for she and Ben, Maggie arranges for an adoption, of what she believes to be a baby, but when Mercy Lewis shows up, it is explained that it is actually her niece Jennifer whom is 10 years old in which she was hoping the Porters would adopt. At first the once eager couple is somewhat reluctant because they wanted a baby, but due to young Jennifer's sweet and loving charm, they give in and let her stay for a trail run as her Aunt goes on a trip to Boston - but when it is revealed that the trip never existed and Mercy Lewis actually had committed suicide the Porters are seemingly stuck with the now orphaned girl. The film then focuses more of Jennifer, and we sense she is up to something. At first the lonely company enjoy the girl's company but soon problems seem to follow. Curious that the farm is somewhat haunted Maggie continues reading up on the history of the location - and thus she makes a startling discovery. The discovery being that witches did once perform rituals on the land and made a pact with a woman named Margaret Carrey, a woman who could not bare a child, so in exchange for a baby Margaret would trade her soul into the hands of the head witches - the witches names? Mercy Lewis and her niece Jennifer! It seems as if Mercy and Jennifer have come back to Crowhaven Farm to get revenge on Maggie whom they belive to be the woman who long ago made the pact with them - Maggie who's real name is indeed Margaret, who happens to also look like her is caught in a game of mistaken identity.

Before seeing CROWHAVEN FARM, I had never heard of it, but the plot had interested me enough to have the desire to see it - and on top of that it seemed to get a lot of good complements as well. When I go into a movie, I don't necessarily listen to other's opinion's but rather make my own judgement - and with my research on Director Walter Grauman, I discovered he is most known for his work on TV series, so I did expect something rather tame.

CROWHAVEN FARM is a psychological thriller, that is virtually void of gore and has a pace that is initially slow but toward it's second half picks up a little and becomes somewhat interesting, The first quarter of this 70's flick is for padding and a little character development, we learn that the Porters don't always get along with one another, but once their luck lands them the farm, their relationship begins to take shape and mend - only until later another bump in the marital road arises for them. On of those problems arrives in somewhat of a sub-plot in which Maggie is offered the job by Piece and somehow Maggie and the businessman end up staying the night together - and later in the film when it is revealed that Maggie is pregnant with a legitimate child of her own...we question who the father may be.

But as for this film, no plot is bigger than the one that involves the young girl, Jennifer, who at first seems sweet and innocent, and then revealed to have an evil side sometimes later. I really enjoyed this angle of the story quite a bit, Cindy Eilbacher, does a great job portraying the girl with the devilish grin, one thing I liked most about this film is that the Director never gives the viewer a hint as to what Jennifer is hiding until near the film's end - it keeps the viewer guessing and more importantly interested.

The acting is basic for TV and not over-welming, but then again I have no real complaints....Hope Lange who is displayed most prominently out of the cast, is at most times believable, but I have to admit that in some scenes you just wanted a bit more of a reaction from her character. To be honest I thought the character that was least fleshed out, but needed to be was in fact Ben, the husband. The character of Maggie is interesting and has enough about her(the drams etc.) for her to be a vital part of the story, but I feel that there was not enough back story to fully support the cause of Ben, portrayed by Paul Burke. Just knowing that Ben is a painter, did not warrant the impact his actions against Pierce, or what happens to him that it should've had in my opinion.

In the end, CROWHAVEN FARM is not that bad a film at all, but it is not necessarily the best made for TV film I have seen made in the same decade. However the film does go where most TV films won't these days. and for that alone it is worth having in your collection.

CROWHAVEN FARM is a very rare film that I have not seen available on DVD or VHS anywhere, but thanks to TrueGore Vintage DVD, I was given the opportunity to see this lost film. Be sure to check out, where you can find CROWHAVEN FARM as well as countless other rare films...
2/10 Typical generic made for Television score, nothing really out of the ordinary....
CROWHAVEN FARM, is a likeable 1970's classic film that takes a while to really sink in, which hinders it from being unforgettable, however, before the film ends it acomplishes something and that is being a film that defied boundaries many films at the time wouldn't dare cross.

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