The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Halloween Reflection

If there is a movie with a creepier ending--no; not creepy. Stylized, horrific, but with an aesthetic quality, brilliantly framed and shot--I'm not aware of it.

Now, I saw it maybe a year after it came out, so I'd have been roughly 15. And that ending stuck in my head for 35 years, and counting.

The film has its bumps--Farrow's English accent, some longeurs along the way, and a cheap death or two--but Ambrose Bierce would have approved that ending, and as an adaptation of Peter Straub's Julia, it does an emotionally fraught, claustrophobic novel close to justice. (Certainly far more than Ghost Story, in which a stellar cast is strayed by a lame script out for cheap thrills.)

Last night I watched Bride of Frankenstein for the first time in 30 years. And, for a movie released less than 10 years into the "talkie" era, it holds up quite well. It is unquestionably a better film than The Haunting of Julia/Full Circle.

But it has no place in my nightmares; Julia got there first.

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