Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Ethel Lina White's suspense novel Some Must Watch was first filmed under the title The Spiral Staircase in 1946. This same title was applied to a subsequent 1962 TV special adaptation, and a 1975 British TV-movie remake. The Spiral Staircase resurfaced again in 2000 as a made-for-cable feature film, which updated the original story from the early 20th century to the present day. Pathologically mute since a terrible trauma in her youth, Helen Capel (Nicollette Sheridan) works as a housekeeper in the gloomy old mansion of wealthy Emma Warren (Holland Taylor). By nature timid and frightened, Helen has good reason of late to be even more afraid to venture outside the Warren home: A serial killer who preys upon "imperfect" women is on the loose, with such victims as a blind girl and a clubfooted woman in his wake. Understandably, the literally speechless Helen is worried that she will be the next victim. What she doesn't know is that her would-be murderer is someone living within the walls of the Warren mansion -- and it isn't the most obvious suspect. The Spiral Staircase debuted April 2, 2000 on the Fox Family Channel.