As far as thrillers go, The Victim is a pretty standard affair, only setting itself apart thanks to leading lady Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched fame. While many of the elements that make up this movie are overly familiar, it is not to say that the movie does not draw one into its narrative and provide a good dose of suspense, because it does do just that. It would ultimately be a nice change of pace seeing Montgomery in something other than a comedy and you can be assured that there are absolutely no laughs present in this film, it being a fairly solid drama. For the most part, Montgomery carried the movie by herself, the ancillary characters who would occasionally show up supporting her where needed to keep the story moving at a decent pace and providing the necessary bits of plot to further the mystery that would come about.
Essentially, the story would concern a young woman who has ‘disappeared.’ While those who watch the film can come to the logical conclusion that she has been murdered, it never explicitly shows the crime and we do not learn that until a little later in the movie. As far as Montgomery’s character is concerned, something has happened to her sister and she means to find out. Queue up the quiet, spooky house, the creepy maid and all the strange events that take place and it creates a recipe for a very successful thriller.
As much as Montgomery was the star, so was the house itself. The setting for such a film is just as important as those who appear in it and while there is nothing that is very distinctive about the structure, it is the mood that is created within that provides the necessary atmosphere for this picture to succeed. For the most part, it is quite eerie as there is very little sound in the house and when paired with the incredible storm that takes place, it ratchets up the suspense as you continually think some sort of killer is going to jump out at Montgomery at any given second. The film also keeps the identity of the killer a secret until the very last act and it is very hard to gauge just who it might be as Montgomery is the only person who really gets a lot of screen-time. The fact that the film can do as such is a good thing because there is nothing worse than being predictable.
Such as it is, The Victim fully entertains with Montgomery channelling her inner-Doris Day to give an incredibly gripping performance. There are times when a made-for-television film can surprise you and this movie just happens to be one of them.
3.5 out of 5