England 1795: the young Catherine just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle. She becomes victim of an old curse that lays on the family. On her wedding night she's raped by a ghost and gets pregnant.
In 1795, in England, the young woman Catherine moves to the house of her fiancé Charles Fengriffen in the country to get married with him. When she arrives, she feels interest in the portraits of the Fengriffen family, particularly in the one of Charle's grandfather Henry Fengriffen, which seems to have a sort of evil entity possessing it. While admiring Henry's face, a severed hand attacks Catherine through the picture on the wall. Later, she gets married with Charles, beginning her journey of mystery, eerie apparitions, secrets and deaths, and having her days filled with fear and the nights with horrors in a cursed family. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This period horror movie has all the right ingredients to be a success. It's got atmosphere, nice sets, Peter Cushing, an experienced horror director, a severed hand with a mind of it's own...but despite all this, it just doesn't work as it should. The principle reason for this is the plotting. It's slow, very slow, and there aren't a lot of things going on in the film. In fact, the film is so slow that even when there is something going on; it feels like there isn't, and this doesn't do the film any favours at all, as it feels like you're stuck in a time warp while watching it. It's a shame this isn't very good, as the cast and crew are experienced in the horror genre, and these guys together should have ensured a better film. I mean, we've got one of the legends of the genre; Peter Cushing, along with two of the smaller stars; Patrick Magee and Herbert Lom, and these guys are directed by one of Hammer Horror's big guns: Roy Ward Baker. How could the resulting movie end up so tragically miserable? You wouldn't think it could, but it did.
The plot follows a house that is under a curse due to some wrongdoing in the past. When the master of the house moves his virgin bride in, she starts experiencing various forms of horror. Like ghosts, severed hands, pregnancy...stuff like that. The first half of the movie is dismal; hardly anything happens, and the stuff that does isn't very interesting. Thankfully for the movie - and the audience - things pick up in the second half when a silly haircut wearing Peter Cushing enters the fray. He doesn't inspire the plot to do anything exciting and/or interesting really, but his screen presence is vast and it's hard to be bored when he's on screen, even if the rest of the movie sucks. The atmosphere and the sets are nicely done however, and this ensures that the dull plot has a nice area to inhabit. It's something of a waste, though, as a better story could easily have moulded around this setting; but at least the movie has some good points. None of the credible actors impress really, and it's more than evident that Cushing is on autopilot. But then again, that's all he needs to be on. If you have a desire to see every horror film ever made, I recommend this movie. Otherwise, it's maybe best to skip it.
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