Girls School Screamers (1986)

A group of Catholic college girls is staying at an art-filled mansion to catalogue the paintings. They soon learn that the estate has been abandoned for 40 years and is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former junior of their school. The fun atmosphere of their stay quickly turns dead serious when a Ouija board session is followed by one girl after the other disappearing.


Genre:
Horror

Country:
USA

Language:
English
.

Full Plot:
“Girls School Screamers”, a slasher film from 1986, begins with a scene showing Billy, a little boy, with his friends gathered around a creepy looking house in the middle of the night.

They dare Billy to go into the house, but accuse him of being a chicken. Billy protests and is determined to prove them wrong. He runs into the house and gets welcomed by a mysterious ghostly voice calling for a “Tyler” to come closer. On the stairs, he encounters a lady in a white dress and a veil covering her face. Once the veil moves, the viewer gets a glimpse of her face, which is rotten and covered by worms. Billy screams and runs back to the group.

The next scene shows Billy lying in a coma in the hospital. His parents sit besides him when he finally wakes up obviously horrified by something.

At this point there is a sharp cut and the viewer finally gets introduced to the actual main story and characters of the movie. A testament reading is taking place at the Catholic college “Trinity School for Girls”. A major college benefactor has died and left all his belongings – including an art-filled mansion – to the nuns running the college.

During a lesson, the students Jackie, Elizabeth, Adelle, Kate, Susan, Rosemary and Karen get called out of the class to have a talk with the head nun. Contrary to their expectation, that they are in trouble, the head nun reveals that they have actually been picked for their outstanding performance at the school and are being invited to stay at the old mansion that the school recently inherited. Their task is to catalogue the art pieces in the estate.

When the seven girls arrive at the house, they are blown away by the beauty of the place and could not be happier to stay at the mansion. Only the older nun, Sister Urban, who is accompanying them seems to be immediately uncomfortable. Inside the house, she runs into Dr. Robert Fisher. He is interested in buying the estate and takes a look around. The girls are immediately intrigued by the doctor and openly flirt with him.

Later, they decide to play hide and seek and distribute around the house to begin the game. During her attempt to hide, Jackie, one of the girls, finds an old diary in one of the rooms. It dates back to the year 1931 and belongs to a girl called Jennifer Welles.

Later that day, during dinner, Jackie asks the nun whether she knows anything about Jennifer Welles, but instead of getting her question answered, the Sister Urban gets angry and heavily insists that nobody should touch anything in this mansion. Only after this lecture she reveals that Jennifer was a junior at the college. Her parents were supposedly killed in a plane crash. After she lost her parents, an uncle, who she didn’t know before, invited her to spend a summer at this very mansion. During her stay, a terrible accident happened during which she herself tragically died. Ever since then, there are rumors that her ghost still haunts this place.

Jackie’s boyfriend, Paul, tells his dad about her staying at the mansion. He immediately recognizes the house Paul is speaking about and tells him that it is known that a tragic story is associated with the place. He also tells him that it has been uninhabited for 40 years.

After learning about the estate’s past, the girls get increasingly uneasy, but intrigued by the story of Jennifer. Their conversation about a possible haunting leads them to construct a Ouija board by cutting out individual letters that they place on a table. They use a skull statue they find as the planchette. The girls don’t take the séance all too serious and laugh until Jackie asks whether Jennifer was murdered. The planchette starts moving and a sudden wind burst makes the letters violently fly off the table. The girls are shocked and start screaming, before the nun walks in and sends them all to bed.

Click here to unfold the remaining story (SPOILER WARNING)

While lying in bed, Jackie and Elizabeth keep pondering about how Jennifer died. Their curiosity leads them to get up once again and sneak around the house back to the living room where the group conducted a séance. They unveil a big painting which is covered in fabric, like all other art pieces in the mansion and are shocked to see a portrait of a girl in a white dress who looks exactly like Jackie. The painting is marked as “Jennifer Welles”.

Jackie decides to ignore the advice of the nun and picks up Jennifer’s diary. The entries from the year 1939 tell the story about her meeting and getting to know her uncle at the mansion. At this point the viewer gets taken back to a happy Jennifer who is content with staying at the mansion, enjoys nice food and having good conversations with her uncle. Until he starts approaching her romantically and tries to force a kiss on her, leaving her shocked and scared. She refuses to reciprocate his attempts to get intimate with her and tries to flee. The diary ends here and leaves Jackie with a bad gut feeling of what might have happened to Jennifer.

Meanwhile, Jackie’s boyfriend Paul continues his research and finds an article reporting on Jennifer’s death. The article is accompanied by a picture of her, leaving him stunned, as he notices the eerie resemblance to Jackie.

When the girls start to catalogue the art in the estate, Rosemary, one of the girls, finds a dumbwaiter which she climbs into. After descending with it down into the basement, she gets attacked by a mysterious figure who stabs her with a butcher knife.

Sister Urban starts to feel increasingly bad and decides to go to bed and leave the girls to themselves.

During dinner, Jackie notices that Rosemary is gone. Karen, one of the girls who decides to look for her, goes downstairs to the basement and finds a dead and blood soaked Rosemary. She starts screaming but gets grabbed from behind and put on a hook, causing her to bleed to death on the spot.

With Rosemary and Karen now missing, the girls start to worry but assume that they are probably just playing hide and seek after all.

Kate tries to search for them outside, but gets grabbed by a bloody hand creeping along side a pond and pulled underwater.

Paul shows up with a friend and shows Jackie the newspaper article with the photo. After Jackie and Paul go inside, his friend wants to leave the mansion but gets run over.

Inside, Jackie shows Paul the painting of Jennifer Welles and her diary.

Adelle, who is searching as well, sees the car that Paul and his friend came in and opens it. What she sees seems to be deeply disturbing, as she breaks out in panicked screams.

Shortly after, Elizabeth, who has gone to bed is seen being dragged away.

Susan’s attempt to find the missing girls ends equally frightening when a dark figure slams the door behind her and leaves her locked in a dark room. She tries to grab for the pull chain to turn on the light but gets electrocuted instead.

Meanwhile, Paul finds a strange sculpture in a suit with a bizarrely distorted baby face, who stabs him with a hay fang.

When Jackie goes to check on the nun, who is feeling worse by the minute, she finds her upset. She keeps telling Jackie that the house is inhabited by the devil and that they should all leave immediately. Jackie finally calls a doctor to pick up Sister Urban.

The movie suddenly cuts back to Billy, the little boy from the beginning. He is still hysterical and keeps going on about the mansion while lying in his hospital bed.

Besides the nun, Jackie is now left alone in the house with no clue about the fate of her friends and fellow students.

She makes it to basement and is welcomed by a horrific sight: Her six blood soaked girl friends are sitting in a row, all dressed in white dresses. Candles are lighting up the otherwise dark room and a white blanket is thrown over two other sitting figures.

Tyler Welles, the uncle of Jennifer Welles steps out from the shadows and addresses Jackie as “Jennifer”. He tells her that he knew that she would return. She should have been his all along and now she will be his for all eternity. He says that all has been prepared for their wedding. Her bridesmaids are present! And as he reveals that Paul and his friend are dead underneath the white sheet, he announces that there even are best men. Jackie collapses.

In the mean time, the nun roams around the house and starts praying in the living room, when a violent wind comes through the house, exposing all covered paintings including the one of Jennifer.

In the basement, Jackie regains consciousness. She has a white wedding dress on and identifies herself as Jennifer.

The viewer gets taken back 40 years once again and we finally see what happened to Jennifer after she refused her uncle’s approaches. After Jennifer flees, he runs after her and tries to undress her. She continues running from him, while he shouts: “If I can’t have you, no one can!”. He throws her downstairs and she dies.

Back in the basement, Jennifer speaks through Jackie’s body. She tells Tyler Welles that she has waited 40 years for revenge before she pokes his eyes out.

The doctor comes and picks up the nun. Jackie and Elizabeth, who are the only ones left alive, hop into the car and finally drive away.

Before the movie ends, you can see Jennifer’s ghost standing at a window of the mansion.

Cast:
Jeff Menapace as Billy
Mollie O’Mara as Jackie/Jennifer
Sharon Christopher as Elizabeth
Marcia Hinton as Adelle
Mari Butler as Kate
Karen Krevitz as Susan
Monica Antonucci as Rosemary
Beth O’Malley as Karen
Vera Gallagher as Sister Urban
Tony Manzo as Dr. Robert Fisher
Peter Cosimano as Paul
Charles Braun as Tyler Welles

Director:
John P. Finnegan

Writers:
John P. Finnegan , Katie Keating and Pierce J. Keating

Links:
Girls School Screamers (1986) on IMDB

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