A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.
Hitchcock effects an awesome comeback with his penultimate film
This. This is more like it. After the last few Hitchcock films left me wanting a little, FRENZY returns to the type of film that he did so well. The plot is one that he frequently used: an innocent man wrongly accused, but he didn't just rehash old material. He upped his game and brought his filmmaking style into a more modern sensibility, all while maintaining the suspense and black humor that had become his trademarks. While I've yet to see any of the films from his British period, I am aware that FRENZY hearkens back to his first real success, which was THE LODGER. And in terms of what I've actually seen, I noticed a lot of DNA from earlier efforts like SABOTEUR, REAR WINDOW, and PSYCHO. The film grabs you and sucks you in from the opening notes of its title sequence, a fanfare which triumphantly announces that he's back: back in his native England, and back in top form. And it wastes no time in thrusting you into this familiar, yet slightly changed world. One thing that benefits the film a lot is the screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, which is filled with great dialogue and biting wit. There was also a sinister, Victorian elegance to the score. And, as with all of his other films, there are a few sequences which stand out. The best of these is probably a long, continuous shot which pulls back from the scene of a crime as Hitchcock leaves it (and its aftermath) to the audience's imagination. Still, perhaps in concession to the changing times, this film does contain some nude scenes and somewhat more vicious-minded, if not particularly graphic, violence. It reminds us that the gory details are often best left to the imagination; they're the icing on the cake, and not the cake itself. Another audacious thing Hitchcock does is make the protagonist rather unlikeable and have us sympathize (at least in one protracted scene) with the villain. Overall, I thought that he was in top form here, adeptly mixing suspense and comedy, all while exploring his favorite themes of sex, death, and food. In regards to food, the Chief Inspector's wife has perhaps a couple of the funniest scenes in the whole film. For me, FRENZY was a welcome return to form after the last few misfires, and it's great that Hitch seems to be going out on top.
- Aug 15, 2015
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content