THE LEGACY -- AMC Academy, Belair Buckingham, Capital Plaza, Capri, Centre, Jefferson, Jerry Lewis Cinema, K-B Langley, K-B Studio, Landover Mall, Lincoln, Marumsco, Reston Cinema, Roth's Manor, Roth's Mt. Vernon, Roth's Parkway, Roth's Seven Locks and Village Mall.

Ploddingly shocking? Sickeningly boring? It's hard to find a logical phrase to describe "The Legacy," another of those "horror" movies that depend on the copious use of blood and guts, rather than the intelligent use of suspense, to shock.

Katharine Ross and her boyfriend, one of those mumbly cowboy types, are motorcycling blithely through the English countryside when they're broadsided by a Rolls-Royce, whose owner invites them back to his palatial estate for tea while he gets their bike repaired. The accident was entirely the fault of our fun couple -- they were driving on the right -- but this mysterious man bundles their bike off to a garage and assumes complete responsibility for getting it fixed. Then he takes them back to his mansion, where the guest room is already made up for them. Does our dynamic duo suspect anything? These guys aren't sharp enough to tie their own shoes, much less figure out the master plan of the evil Jason Mountolive.

Technically, the movie is terrible: The photography is murky, and something's wrong with the sound -- everyone seems to be mumbling the lines. Of course, given the quality of the dialogue, it's no great loss. A sample of the wit: "I've just gotta remember to drive on the right side of the road -- I mean the left side!"

But what is most upsetting of all is Katharine Ross' wretched performance. She's lifeless, expressionless and stiff as a poker -- in a word, horrible. It's a far cry from her class acts in "The Graduate" and "Butch Cassidy."

Maybe that's what they meant by horror movie.