The movie Scream for Help (1984) is a British horror film directed by Michael Winner and written by Tom Holland. The film follows a teenage girl named Christie who discovers that her stepfather, Paul, is trying to murder her and her mother Karen for their money. Despite her attempts to tell others about the situation, no one believes her. As Christie becomes increasingly paranoid, she begins to uncover a web of lies and deceit that threatens to destroy her life.
The movie is set in New Rochelle, New York, where Christie lives with her mother and stepfather. After a maintenance worker dies in the basement, Christie becomes convinced that Paul is trying to kill her mother. She begins following him everywhere and discovers that he is having an affair with a young woman named Brenda. When Christie is caught by Brenda’s brother Lacey, she manages to escape. However, Paul convinces Karen that Brenda is just a client of his and she believes him over her daughter.
Christie convinces her friend Josh to help her catch Paul, but the brakes on her mother’s car have been tampered with, almost killing them. Christie and her friend Janey discover Paul and Brenda at a motel and run when Paul sees them. Soon after, Janey is killed in a hit and run by an unseen driver. Christie tells the police that Paul killed Janey, intending to kill her too, but she is not believed. Josh sticks up for Christie after she is bullied and blamed for Janey’s death.
Later, Christie loses her virginity to Josh but they are interrupted by Paul, who orders Josh to leave. When Christie goes to the bathroom, she notices gas and realizes that Paul is trying to kill her too. Karen also falls down the stairs after a trap Paul set for her, putting her in a wheelchair. Christie takes a picture of Paul and Brenda having sex but drops the picture and is seen. While retrieving the picture, she overhears that Brenda and Lacey are in fact a married couple who plan to blackmail Paul after he kills Karen and Christie. She shows her mother the picture and Paul is ordered to leave.
At midnight, Paul, Brenda, and Lacey invade the house and force Christie and Karen to the basement, revealing their plans to kill them both at 2 a.m. and blame it on a burglar. Christie tells Paul about the real relationship between Brenda and Lacey, which angers him. Christie tricks Brenda into letting her out to go to the bathroom while Karen cuts the electricity to the house from the basement, giving Christie a chance to run and stab both Lacey and Paul. After Brenda attacks Karen and turns the lights back on, Christie surrenders herself to Lacey and both victims are forced back to the basement, where they devise another plan to escape by wetting the fuse box.
At 2 a.m., they are ordered upstairs but are interrupted by Josh knocking at the door. Lacey orders Christie to open the door and get rid of him. Josh is suspicious and informs the police. When the electricity goes off, both mother and daughter flee their attackers. Lacey orders Brenda to go to the basement and turn the lights back on, but the wet fuse box electrocutes Brenda. After almost catching Karen, Lacey runs to the basement after hearing Brenda’s scream and finds her dead. Christie tricks Paul into believing she is in her bathroom when Paul enters the gas-filled bathroom with a lighter; it explodes and he is killed. Josh saves Christie from the burning house.
With their ordeal over, Christie and Karen reside at another house temporarily when Josh comes over to kiss Christie. Lacey appears and hits Josh and plans to kill Christie for what she did to Brenda. Christie pulls out a knife and stabs Lacey through the stomach, killing him.
- Rachel Kelly as Christie Cromwell
- Lolita Lorre as Mrs. Cromwell
- David Allen Brooks as Paul Fox
- Marie Masters as Helen Caldwell
- John Christian as Tom Russo
The screenplay was written by Tom Holland who directed Fright Night.
It was shot on location in the Bahamas.
The film had a troubled release and was recut by the distributor.