Signature Scenes: The Skating Scene From Curtains (1983)

by "Penguin" Pete Trbovich on July 22nd, 2018 | | , ,

For some context, Curtains is about a group of actresses meeting in the secluded Ontario home of a director. He’s casting the lead in his next movie, and the gals are showing up to audition. If auditioning in some guy’s home for a whole weekend makes you think there’s some hanky-panky going on, Bob’s your uncle. Christie, an innocent lamb among this pack of competitive hyenas, has already discovered the wonders of the casting couch the night before and is having second thoughts about this acting business. But she has her professional skating career anyway, to which she’s so dedicated that she practices every morning. Perhaps she’s out to mull over quitting the audition while twirling on the ice today.

And that’s where our scene starts. There’s so many reasons why people talk about it. The gorgeous wilderness scenery. The authentic scrape of the ice skates. The fact that the actress playing Christie, Lesleh Donaldson, can really skate, and executes a few minutes of graceful moves. The 1980s OG boombox she totes along. And then there’s the appearance of that cursed doll, which has popped up a couple times in the movie before and whose presence is never a good omen.

This is the first time the movie shows us the killer in full, let alone in broad daylight. As the stalker is slowly introduced from the skates up, the doll’s pouty face seems to be warning Christie to look behind her. And then we have a nightmarish chase, terminated when the film tries to trick us into thinking that the killer was coldcocked by a doll, while Christie staggers away wounded, too hobbled by the skates but too panicked to stop and take them off. She finally stops to catch her breath in front of a tree. Bad mistake!

It’s that mask. That is one of the most horrifying masks ever worn by a slasher, and it gets used to several more hideous effects later in the film too.

http://www.penguinpetes.com/

Writer, artist, prophet, cult leader. Take good care of my memes. I’ve raised them since they were daydreams.

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