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Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Witches (1966)

After recovering from a nervous breakdown she suffered in Africa, a schoolteacher (Joan Fontaine) looks forward to the quiet and idyllic life of the English countryside where she has a new position. It isn't long however that she senses that something is seriously wrong under the facade of the seemingly peaceful village. Based on the novel THE DEVIL'S OWN (which was its U.S. title) by Norah Lofts, this low key Hammer horror manages to resist sensationalism until the very end when it goes over the top and borders on silliness. But until then, it's a quietly effective piece of horror with an unsettling atmosphere and a nice central performance by Fontaine (in her last film role). Directed by Cyril Frankel with a persuasive underscore by Richard Rodney Bennett (MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS). With Alec McCowen (TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT), Kay Walsh, Ingrid Boulting and Martin Stephens.

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