For decades, I was haunted by a movie where a mom dies by getting electrocuted in a kitchen. I couldn’t remember the details and when I saw it, I didn’t know what the title was. It was a scene that terrified me and stayed fresh in my mind for nearly 30 years.
Recently, my wife and I went and saw Hereditary in the theater. We loved it. Once we got home, we immediately did a horror deep dive and started watching movies with similar themes. That’s what led me to the 1987 voodoo, child-sacrifice thriller The Believers.
The movie starts with the death of Martin Sheen’s wife by electrocution in their home. As his son watches terrified while screaming, Sheen’s wife played by Janet-Laine Green seizes up and dies in front of their eyes. That’s how the movie starts before we even get to the credits.
I was probably six or seven when I saw this on HBO around 1990. For years, I thought it was part of the film Pulse starring Cliff De Young, but it wasn’t and I could never track down the scene even when internet searches became an option. The thought of this movie where a mom got fried in her kitchen always stuck with me, lingering in the back of my mind and occasionally popping up.
Now that I’ve seen it again thanks to Heredity, I can say it’s not nearly as traumatic as I remember, but it’s still a very effective scene. I don’t recall trying to watch the rest of the film when I was younger, probably because I ran away from the television terrified, but as an adult I can say The Believers is a pretty good flick.
I recommend seeing this one not only for the scene that scared the hell out of me, but also for the other traumatizing parts in the film. The Believers features a lot of great familiar character actors and has a pretty great story written by Mark Frost of Twin Peaks fame. I liked it, even though it still kinda freaks me out.