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May. 20th, 2007

Last night we watched The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr and Pamela Franklin (who later went on to star in "The Legend of Hell House", a definite favorite of mine.

It's hard to call "The Innocents" a "horror" movie. It's chilling, disturbing, scary, yes. But it's so open ended and left to interpretation that it's not just a simple ghost story. The interpretations of what happened and what was really going on have ranged all over the place since the original story ("The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James). William Archibald and Truman Capote were very careful to not lead the story too much into any one direction so it really is up to you what you think happened.

I was so incredibly impressed with it. Neither of us had ever seen it before but we (unsurprisingly) came to the same conclusions about what we felt happened. If you haven't seen it (even if you aren't a fan of horror) I would highly recommend it.

This was one of those movies that you can be sure would not be made today. I know "they don't make them like this anymore" is so trite... but in this case it's true. It would have to be made more apparent, there would have to be more exposition, there would have to be a big confrontation scene or sex scene or something like that in order for it to sell in today's market. And any of that would absolutely ruin how terse and disquieting the story is. Deborah Kerr is absolutely perfect in this as well, so if you're a fan of hers (I'm sure there is someone out there who is a big Deborah Kerr fan) it's worth it just for her. As a bonus, the boy playing Miles was also in the original "Villiage of the Damned" and several other horror/dramatic films of the time period including "The Hellfire Club" and "The Devil's Own".

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
uncletravelling
May. 21st, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
does it have any of that fucked up stop motion or 1 hundred
horrible-image-frames-per-second shit? That stuff is fine for me while I watch, but then I have to deal with nightmares for a week... I really can't watch most modern horror films anymore because of those damned cheap editing tricks... Grrrr...
maddening
May. 21st, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC)
The Innocents isn't a modern film. It's from 1961, shot in black and white, and there are more sound effects than camera effects (though it is beautifully shot).

That "head shaking spooky thing" stuff pisses me off. Not because it fucks with me, just because it was effective in say... Jacob's Ladder. And then stopped being effective once very ghost movie became "thing shaking its head while walking in a twitchy way".

I have a love/hate relationship with the whole horror genre.

Theatre of Blood is another I'd recommend. It's definitely more campy and silly and more "fun" (if you can think of horror as fun - some can't). But it doesn't employ any bullshit, it's just a pretty straightforward mystery/suspense/slasher type movie. With Vincent Price and hot-ass Diana Rigg. Knowledge of Shakespearean plays is a bonus.

uncletravelling
May. 21st, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
hee-hee -- sorry, I was at work when I was reading the post, left the desk halfway through it for a screaming person, and then forgot to read the second half (concerning the age of the film). Anyhoo -- will check both out... Been resorting to older films a lot lately. I highly recommend Philadelphia Story (mainly for novelty value -- the main part was written completely for Katharine Hepburn -- the only thing they changed about her is that she softens up in the end)

I COMPLETELY agree with your Jacob's Ladder point -- it started and ended there -- it had its place in that movie -- gave me a feeling I'll never forget -- sorta like how it's never as good as the the first time you masturbate (if you were to add searing pain to subsequent sessions)

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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