Peter Cushing stars as a former priest who harbors a dark and horrible secret in his attic. The locked room serves as a prison cell for his crazed, cannibalistic adult son, who acquired his...
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Peter Cushing stars as a former priest who harbors a dark and horrible secret in his attic. The locked room serves as a prison cell for his crazed, cannibalistic adult son, who acquired his savage tastes in India during his father's missionary work there. Cushing fears that his son will escape to prey upon the effete guests at his rural English estate during a cross-country auto race. Written by
Great acting, superb atmosphere, deserves to be a cult-classic
I have noticed a lot of rubbish written about this movie: its NOT a Hammer production (it's from Tyburn) although a lot of Hammer-regulars are involved in it; director Freddie Francis is NOT the brother of producer Kevin Francis, but his father; the only similarities between Alfred Hitchock's Psycho and this movie are a female lead-actress (Veronica Carlson of Hammer's Dracula Has Risen from the Grave and Frankenstein Must be Destroyed-fame) who is killed halfway through the movie after we have become to root for her and who's disappearance is investigated by people who knew her, and an atmospheric house which contains a supposedly hideous secret. Peter Cushing gives a great performance, mixing real-life emotions with acting (his sadness about his departed wife of which he show photographs to Veronica Carlson and which are photographs of his real wife who had died in 1971, is really hard to watch if you are familiar with the background-information); John Hurt is also great although his character is nothing more then a red herring; Gwen Watford gives a nice performance of a Hindu-housekeeper which is not sinister in herself but treated as sinister because Hindoes were considered sinister in the time-period the movie is set in. The Ghoul himself will be undoubtedly a let-down for gore-seekers; although he is cannibalistic, he turns out to be more of a sad retard than a monster. The element which makes this film a cult-classic is the sadness which pervades every scene once we have made entrance to the house; not any other movie, to my knowledge, makes the same impact of sadness and doom which are presented here through characterizations, surroundings and even time-period. It's a gem, worthy to seek out, but be warned: only one viewing may not be enough to appreciate it ! You have to take your time for it and watch it several times (with intervals)... It may haunt you...
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