Horror Movie Review: The Legacy (1978)


The Legacy is a movie filled with so many ridiculous moments that it sometimes feels as though those involved in making the movie are playing some kind of prank on the viewer.

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Maggie (Katherine Ross) & her boyfriend Pete (Sam Elliot) are interior decorators in the US. They are offered a large fee to go to England so agree to take on the job. Once there they end up in a motorbike accident with the man who hired them, Jason Mountolive (John Standing). He invites them to his mansion, Ravenhurst on the promise of getting their bike fixed up.

Once there they find out that Jason has also invited five others to his home. Five people in line to claim his entire estate. They’ve all been asked to come as Jason is dying, supposedly wasting away upstairs which strikes Maggie as strange considering they had spoken to him only a short while ago & he seemed in good health.

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The guests are a bunch of malcontent misfits (The Who’s Roger Daltrey plays one) but all share an interest in the occult. After visiting a dying Jason all the guest are gifted a signet ring that grafts to their fingers making it impossible to take off.

Pete, unhappy with the circumstances, wants to leave. Something that is enhanced by several uncomfortable run-ins with some of the other guests. However when they try to leave they discover they always end up back at the mansion. Then people begin to die in mysterious circumstances. Something that doesn’t seem to really bother anyone at all.

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Just what is happening at Ravenhurst? Who is Jason Mountolive & his guests? Why are they so desperate to keep Maggie at the house?

These questions & more are answered over on a lengthy & dragged out story that never really gets as exciting as it could be. There are far too many lulls to keep the interest up for the more exciting moments. There’s a lot of build, a lot of supposed tension to a payoff that doesn’t satisfy. It’s just a shoulder shrugging moment at best.

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It’s a wacky tale, one that has some glaring plot holes if you look close enough. Something that the film forces you to do because of the lengthy & boorish moments.

The cast all do a good job, there are few complaints about the acting. All except for one characters laughable reaction to being set on fire. Roger Daltrey is worth mentioning as someone who you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be a decent actor but actually turns out to be the most memorable.

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Perhaps the movies biggest flaw though is it’s hilariously upbeat music. Music that is at complete odds with the tone of many of the scenes. This is not a well scored movie, it’s distracting & actively takes away from the more horrific moments playing out in front of your eyes.

The Legacy has some interesting & unusual ideas, it just struggles to put them into practice. Instead taking itself far too seriously & committing the ultimate sin of a horror movie by being boring.

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The Legacy
  • 5/10
    The Final Score - 5/10
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User Rating 4 (1 vote)
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