13 items from 2013
Jack Clayton's masterpiece is full of repressed sexual hunger and throbbing darkness
Fifty-two years young, Jack Clayton's masterpiece The Innocents is as unsettlingly beautiful and insolubly ambiguous today as it was on the day it was released, and remains, along with Robert Wise's The Haunting, one of the great British psychological horror movies. Based on Henry James's The Turn Of The Screw – derived by screenwriters Truman Capote and John Mortimer from the 1950 Broadway stage adaptation by William Archibald – it's a perfect alignment of script and director, stars and subject matter, and it offers a ton of subsidiary pleasures in its casting (including Peter Wyngarde, a decade before Jason King, and Martin Stevens, the lead blond psycho kid from Village Of The Damned).
The striking camerawork comes courtesy of Freddie Francis, who less than two years later would embark upon a second career as a successful director »
- John Patterson
The BFI's terrific gothic season continues with this brilliantly chilling 1961 adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. Deborah Kerr stars as the governess whose young charges vacillate between the angelic and the demonic – or is it all in her mind?
Oozing ambiguity, Jack Clayton's shimmering gem is a masterclass in suggestion, a flawless evocation of the uncanny which pits the subconscious against the supernatural to genuinely hair-raising effect.
Atmospherically shot in monochrome Cinemascope by Freddie Francis, co-scripted by Truman Capote, and blending Georges Auric's music with genuinely eerie ambient sound, this enduring gem places a cold hand on the back of your neck, and then whispers into your ear: "It was only the wind, my dear… "
theguardian.com © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. »
- Mark Kermode
If the first Hobbit movie felt padded out, that didn't seem to put anyone off: its global box-office take was more than $1bn. But now all that protracted set-up is out of the way this middle section hits the ground running and barely lets up, as Freeman and his dwarves hack their way through a theme park's worth of action adventures to close in on the Lonely Mountain. It's a giddy ride, for sure, but we also get a fuller sense of Middle Earth's landscape and inhabitants. Oh yes, and there's a dragon…
Fill The Void (U)
The strictures of ultra-orthodox Judaism give this modern-day story a curiously archaic feel, »
- Steve Rose
The Innocents, 1961.
Directed by Jack Clayton.
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.
Is it real or is it all in your mind? When Deborah Kerr’s Governess takes on the position in Bly Mansion, she slowly loses her mind as she becomes convinced the children are possessed. The brilliance in The Innocents is not just within the spooky story but within the sprawling grounds and the gothic architecture that surrounds the fractured family. Inspiring films as diverse as The Orphanage and The Woman in Black, Jack Clayton’s psychological horror rarely uses jump-scares to shock and instead transcends this through shrieking sounds that pierce the ear as moody lighting covers the shadows and ghosts that lurk in Bly Mansion.
A bachelor (Michael Redgrave) who »
- Gary Collinson
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.
Come Back Tonight To See My List Of The 200 Best!
Directed by Terence Young
Written by Robert Carrington
Directed by Terence Young, »
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!
Written and directed by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. To solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, »
“We lay my love and I, beneath the weeping willow.”
Director: Jack Clayton
Plot: Miss Giddens (Kerr) has just accepted a job to be the governess of two orphans,a brother and sister on a large estate in the country. Once she arrives at the house she develops immediate rapport with the duo, but it isn’t long before she is seeing things, hearing things, and questioning the innocence of the children.
Quite why anyone, ever, would want children is beyond me. Just watching horror films clearly outlines the dangers of what any parent is facing. Murderous, sinister, smug, are just three ways I would describe kids, and because they are so young, you can’t just start thrashing them because you’ll end up the villain. How scary is that?
Just reading the plot of The Innocents, »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Brian Comport, who has died aged 74, was the screenwriter for the cult films Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly (1970), The Fiend (1972) and The Asphyx (1973). Like so many others working in the British film industry during the last half century, he had ups and downs, but the horror feature films he wrote are widely regarded as classics of the genre.
His break into films came in 1967 when he was introduced to Norman Cohen, a film editor on his way to becoming a very successful director, who had acquired the film rights to Geoffrey Fletcher's delightful 1962 book The London Nobody Knows.
Cohen had secured James Mason to narrate the commentary, and Brian was engaged to provide the words. It was Brian's idea to have Mason walk and talk directly to the camera, making the film a »
- John Crome
Cinematographer Wally Pfister, in the midst of filming his feature directorial debut, “Transcendence,” enjoys some distinct advantages in his new role: One of his executive producers is Christopher Nolan, with whom he has collaborated exclusively, dating back to the director’s breakthrough film “Memento”; the star of his sci-fi movie is worldwide box office magnet Johnny Depp; Pfister’s picture will be released by Hollywood’s biggest studio, Warner Bros., and he was empowered with the kind of budget — approximately $100 million — few first-timers are afforded.
But those advantages are freighted with the expectations and pressures that come with such a large-scale endeavor. Besides, remarkably few directors of photography have successfully made a longterm transition to helming features. Among those, a mere handful — George Stevens, Barry Sonnenfeld and Jan de Bont among them — have enjoyed critical and commercial success. And only one, Nicolas Roeg, could be seen as a unique stylist whose creative stamp is unmistakable. »
- Steve Chagollan
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Sam Moffitt, and Tom Stockman
The film career of legendary English actor Sir Christopher Lee began in 1948 and continues to the present day. Lee is best known for his roles in horror films, especially the string of seven Dracula movies he starred in for Hammer Studios between 1958 and 1974, but be may be best known to younger audiences for his roles in the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Almost all of the roles that Lee has played have been villains and here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are his ten best.
It’s only fitting that The Curse Of Frankenstein, the film that truly began England’s Hammer Studios’ theatrical run of full color gothic horror epics, should team (well, they’re both in the 1948 Hamlet, but have no scenes together) their greatest stars, Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein »
- Movie Geeks
The anthology horror film is back in the wake of the success of chapter-style horror films like The Theatre Bizarre (2011) and its announced follow-up, V/H/S (2012), the soon-to-be-released sequel V/H/S 2 (2013) and The ABC’s of Death (2012).
While this movement generates a good deal of conversation about the fondly remembered Amicus productions of the 1960’s and 1970’s like Dr. Terror’s House Of Horrors (Freddie Francis, 1965), Torture Garden (Freddie Francis, 1967), The House That Dripped Blood (Peter Duffell, 1971) and Asylum (Roy Ward Baker, 1972) among others, the comparison is not exactly accurate across the board.
While the segments of V/H/S are unified by shared visual style and a wraparound story, The Theatre Bizarre and The ABC’s of Death come off as collections of essentially unrelated horror short films loosely bound by a flimsy wraparound segment in the case of The Theatre Bizarre or a basic concept as »
- Terek Puckett
Directed by David Lynch
A film entitled The Straight Story seems like a lie in the bizarre hands of a director like David Lynch, famous for injecting art house storytelling and theater styling into his more mainstream fare. An adaptation of an Iowa farmer’s journey? From Mr. Twin Peaks? Alright, what’s the catch?
The Straight Story’s title is no trick. In fact, it’s about as real as stories get, adapted from the actual 1994 journey of Iowa farmer Alvin Straight. After a less than satisfactory visit to the doctor reminds him of his mortality, Alvin (Richard Farnsworth) decides to set things right. He begins by setting off to Mt Zion, Wisconsin to make amends with his estranged brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton), who’s fallen deathly ill. There’s just a one problem: Alvin has no way of getting there. »
- David Klein
“And All Through The House” is the first episode of Tales from the Crypt I really remember. And as a kid, I watched enraptured as this jolly, jovial man whom I equated with the reason for pure indelible joy on December 25th, was now turned into the most frightening figure to be seen. Yes, I realize that he’s not really Santa Claus, per se, but really as we’ve all learned as we grew up — Santa ain’t real anyways, kiddies. But, I remember seeing this, not on HBO, but on my local broadcast which even with commercial interruption left me behind the chair in my uncle’s living room late Saturday, chattery teeth and all.
This is the first episode of Tales from the Crypt that really feels like it belongs with the others. It’s truly the epitome of the ‘just desserts’ mentality and all, and sets »
- Nathan Smith
13 items from 2013
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners