tek's rating: ¼

I've Been Waiting For You, on NBC
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This first aired in 1998, in the wake of movies like "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer," and stuff. I think I was probably aware of it at the time, and wanted to see it, but for a reason I can't recall, I didn't get to see it until some years later, when I taped it off a rerun on Lifetime. (I'm not sure what year that was, but it couldn't have been too many years after 1998, because apparently it was still before I ever started writing reviews on my website, and that was in the early 2000s.) Anyway, by the time I did start writing reviews, I had a little page for this, in which there wasn't much I could remember to say about it, beyond a very brief description of the premise. I knew I had liked it, and I knew it had starred Sarah Chalke and Ben Foster and Markie Post. But I always hoped I'd see it again someday, so I could say more about it. I finally got it on DVD in 2016 (and watched it on Halloween).

So, it begins in 1698, when an 18-year-old girl named Sarah Lancaster is dragged out of her bed one night, and burned at the stake as a witch. Three hundred years later, a teenage girl named Sarah Zoltanne (Chalke) moves with her mom, Rosemary (Post), from L.A. to the small town of Pinecrest, Massachusetts. They move into the very house from which Lancaster had been abducted three centuries earlier. Rosemary soon starts dating Ted Rankin, who is Sarah's history teacher. But we don't actually see all that much of the adults in this movie. It's mostly about Sarah, who is immediately disliked by a group of five students in her new school... Well, she's disliked by four of them. One of them, Eric (Christian Campbell), seems to like her. But his girlfriend, Kyra (Soleil Moon Frye), certainly doesn't. The group also includes Debbie (Maggie Lawson), Kevin, and Misty. It turns out the five of them are descendants of the people who burned Sarah Lancaster, and there's a local legend that 300 years later, Sarah would return to take revenge of the descendants of her murderers. So... naturally, when a new girl shows up exactly 300 years later, and she has the same first name as the alleged witch, they think the legend is coming true. (It doesn't help Sarah's case that she's seen as different, being from L.A. and all, though personally I thought she seemed pretty normal.) However, she does make one friend in Pinecrest, a guy named Charlie (Foster), who works in an occult bookstore, and who is bullied by the "cool" kids at school.

Anyway, the movie takes its title from a line which we first hear the very night Sarah and Rosemary move into the house. While Rosemary is out, the phone rings, despite the service not being active yet. When Sarah answers it, someone whispers in a spooky voice, "I've been waiting for you." And throughout the movie, at different times, each of the descendants gets attacked by someone in a witch mask, who whispers the same spooky line. And, um... oh, there's a black cat in the house Sarah moves into, which she names "Hecuba," but that's not really important. And... at one point, Eric and Kyra invite Sarah to a party, to play a fortune teller. It's shortly after that that the attacks start, and everyone (with the possible exceptions of Eric and Charlie) thinks Sarah is the killer. I won't say which of the descendants are killed and which survive their attacks. Nor will I say how it all ends. But, while I thought there were some things that didn't make much sense or weren't entirely clear, overall I still like the movie, and I'm really glad I got to see it again.

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