Home Of Pure Retro Movie Love.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

31 More Days Of October Terror: 10/20

Day Twenty:

The Innocents
A Twentieth Century Fox Film
Original Theatrical Release Date: December 25th, 1961 (USA)

Jack Clayton's 1961 British film is one of many adaptations of Henry James' Turn Of The Screw. And for my money, it's the best of the lot. This is psychological horror at it's best. The film was shot with a lot of deep focus and minimal lighting, and the style gives the film a rich atmosphere and eerie quality. This was certainly not being done much in cinema of the time. Cinematographer Freddie Francis would go on to direct some Hammer Films of his own, but he also was the Cinematographer on the equally exquisite The Elephant Man. He really was a one of a kind.

Star Deborah Kerr turns in a wonderful performance here, and we are right with her on her journey. The Innocents isn't the kind of movie that has any overt, jump at you scares, so it relies on the actors and the atmosphere. And it succeeds brilliantly. This picture's influence can still be seen in films today, some to varying success, but none more so than in Alejandro Amenabar's The Others from 2001.


Direct to Video Connoisseur said...

I love this movie. I think in recent years, Hollywood has gotten away from a horror film built more on suspense and psychological fear, in favor of lazy rip-offs of Saw and Hostel, which is too bad, because I think there's room enough in the market for both, it's just this type of horror is harder to make good.

Cinema Du Meep said...

It totally is. It's much more of a risk because the thrills aren't being thrown constantly at your face. That is of course unless they do the 3D version of The Innocents.

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