This film features Mary Steenburgen as Julie Rose, a New York City actress who travels upstate for a video screen test. In the Victorian home of Dr. Lewis (Jan Rubes), his assistant Mr. Murray (Roddy McDowall) alters her appearance to simulate the actress she is about to replace. While a storm brews outside, Julie discovers that she is a pawn in a deadly game and there is no way out of her predicament.

Arthur Penn directs this thriller with just the right blend of gothic devices and visual panache. The most interesting dimension of the drama is the way Julie fights back, using her acting skills to one-up the consummate gamesmanship of the sinister Dr. Lewis. Fans of Sleuth and other movies in this genre will enjoy Dead of Winter.