Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Black Torment (1964)

Starring Heather Sears, John Turner, Ann Lynn, Peter Arne, Norman Bird
Directed by Robert Hartford-Davis
(actor & director credits courtesy

A nobleman returns with his new bride after a long absence to his estate, only to discover that some claim to have seen him there recently, and he's suspected in a murder.

This is a quality British horror film with some genuine suspense and good performances.  Actor John Turner is especially fine as the nobleman, whose initial righteous indignation at the suspicions levied against him later turns to doubt and horror at the thought that he might be losing his mind.  The performances are supported by effective chills, in particular those created by the filmmakers' use of sound, including the frantic breathing of the murder victim in the opening prologue, the squeaking of the wheelchair carrying the nobleman's infirm father, and the banging of open windows against the side of the house that are normally always locked.  Although the revelation of the truth at the climax didn't come as a huge shock to me, this is still a nicely crafted period horror piece.

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