Friday, October 14, 2016

Dead of Night (1945)

October Challenge Day 13:

I found this gem hiding in the Hammer Horror section at my local video store.
I've seen it heralded as one of the most frightening films ever created, and this amazing piece of work (in a good way) has earned every praise it has received. 

An anthology film, showcasing alarmingly grotesque (as in story telling and not so much on the actual gore) stories, Dead of Night straight up shocked me. It shocked me for how vibrantly these stories were told, how morbidly they unfolded, and how ghastly the outcomes were revealed. 

Actually, in a word, this film is: Ghastly.

Folks, there is a ventriloquist doll here that will forever give this grown-ass woman nightmares. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing - and it was only for a moment. But like so many superb horror films, it often only takes just a few moments for one particular scene to scare the pants right off you.

My only complaint is with the DVD I rented. It said it was "digitally remastered" but I find that hard to believe. The sound and picture were terrible, the cropping was awful - with too many times a person's head was completely cut off from the screen ... unnecessarily. That said! I still found the film horrifying. I hope this tells you something about the quality of the movie itself.

In any case, should you rent it/buy it please be sure it's a very recent version. The one I rented is quite a bit older and I have faith newer releases are of better quality.

This is not a late night black and white for those who only like House On Haunted Hill late night black and white. No, this is dark picture that will likely blow you out of the water.

Pairs with British teas or brandy, and dainty snacks on soiled doilies. If you watch in a group please be sure everyone remains mostly silent, although I think this one is best seen alone on a dark and stormy night - literally.

I rented this movie from my local video store (Rain City Video). Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's sidebar to see where else you can find this very ghastly feature.

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