Lady in White is a superb supernatural horror film from independent filmmaker Frank LaLoggia who, with the help of cousin Charles LaLoggia, raised production money from 4,000 investors – many of whom live in and around the small town of Lyons in upstate New York that doubles for the fictional spooky Willowpoint Falls of the early 1960s.
At the center is big-eyed Lukas Haas, the youngest boy of a loving and earthy Italian family that is headed by his widowed dad, Angelo (Alex Rocco). On Halloween night, his school chums lock him in his classroom cloakroom where he is visited by those who wouldn’t oridinarily be there – the ghost of a young girl about his age and a masked man searching for something in the heating grate. As the mystery unravels, it is revealed how they are connected.
LaLoggia manages to direct Haas equally well as a junior sleuth as he does the innocent youngster who fights with his older brother Geno (Jason Presson) and is easily influenced to go places he shouldn’t by his bike-riding pals.
Rocco is particularly successful as the concerned father. Equally solid is Haas’ brother, a good casting in Jason Presson, who turns out to be much less precocious than his younger sibling. This probably is as good a nightmare as any impressionable boy could have and still be suspenseful enough to get most adults’ hearts going.
[A 119-min. Directorector’s Cut was released on homevideo in 1997.]