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The Night Child (1975)

Il medaglione insanguinato (original title)
R | | Horror | March 1976 (USA)
The titular medallion is a gift presented to young Nicole Elmi. Once the girl places the gift around her neck, she is possessed by the spirit of a dead child who was a murderess.


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Cast overview:
Michael Williams
Joanna Morgan
Ida Galli ...
Jill Perkins (as Evelyne Stewart)
Nicoletta Elmi ...
Emily Williams
Riccardo Garrone ...
Police Inspector
Dana Ghia ...
Emily's Mother
Eleonora Morana ...
Contessa's Maid
Contessa Cappelli


The titular medallion is a gift presented to young Nicole Elmi. Once the girl places the gift around her neck, she is possessed by the spirit of a dead child who was a murderess.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When Satan Goes Wild -- watch out for the... NIGHT CHILD. See more »




R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

March 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cursed Medallion  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in The Dark (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Definitely worth seeing
6 July 2010 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

I have a soft spot in my heart (and maybe my brain pan) for Italian and European "Exorcist" rip-offs, and this is one of the best. It's certainly better than the much more famous "Beyond the Door", which also starred Richard Johnson. Actually,the term "Exorcist" rip-off is a more than a little unfair as these films were all quite different from "The Exorcist" (and each other). This film has a kind of subtle, supernatural atmosphere much more similar to Nicholas Roeg's "Don't Look Now" than to the visceral horror of "The Exorcist". There is also kind of an aura of evil in the film that goes beyond just the possession of the young girl and which anticipates "The Omen" or supernatural Dario Argento films like "Inferno", but with an additional reincarnation element (and, of course, a much more limited budget).

This film actually MOST resembles a LATER American film called "Burnt at the Stake" where the young girl imagines herself as the reincarnation of witch who was burned by grotesque villagers. In this movie, the visions of the girl (Nicoletta Elmi) are connected to her mother's "accidental" death by burning, a bizarre painting her father (Richard Johnson) is investigating in Italy for a BBC documentary on the Devil, and to the titular medallion, which belonged to her mother and may have had something to do with her fiery demise. There are definitely some weird connections that a "Don't Look Now"-type psychic in Italy (Lila Kedovra) reveals, and, of course, the Devil himself seems to be involved. But then there are some decidedly Freudian twists at the end that other reviews alluded to. That's what turns out to be the major flaw of this movie--there is just TOO MUCH going on, and while a lot of it is pretty effective, it gets pretty confusing the end is definitely somewhat disappointing.

The movie is certainly well-directed by Massimo Dallamano ("What Have You Done to Solange?"), who remains one of Italy's most criminally underrated genre directors. The music, as other reviewers said, is good if perhaps not original (I think I've heard the main score in at least one other movie). Johnson does a reasonably good job as the male lead, and American actress Joanne Cassidy ("Blade Runner") makes a welcome appearance(as do her impressive breasts) as Johnson's agent and love interest. This is an especially good vehicle,however, for Nicoletta Elmi. While most underage actresses, then and now, generally fall into the molds of cute and cloying or teenage and sexy, Elmi was kind of a strange-looking, but actually genuinely talented young actress (not unlike "Burnt at the Stake's" Susan Swift). As in some of her other movies like "Footprints on the Moon" or "Flesh for Frankenstein" (her most famous), Elmi is a sympathetic but also effectively sinister presence here. This isn't a perfect movie,but it's definitely worth seeing.

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