Monday, 21 March 2011

grim films

When grim things keep happening around the globe (Japan, Libya and Middle East), a nice slice of escapism is occasionally in order… So I can recommend a couple of quite contrasted but gruesome and compelling movies. One is a small-scale B movie in B&W from 1957, which I'd seen only in a very poor print back in the early Sixties, and was glad to view again in its recent dvd reissue. The other's a much longer, more complex and glossy colour production from 2008 which I'd avoided on its original release, feeling one should resist the extensive hype. What they have in common, other than their being based on goodish prose narratives (in English and Swedish respectively), is style, pace, fine cinematography, gripping twists and turns within the melodramatic yet just credible storylines, plus completely convincing and committed acting. Titles of these gems, half a century apart, but seeming so timeless in their effective portrayals of lurking horror? Night Of The Demon, directed by the undervalued Hollywood Jacques Tourneur, from M.R. James's story 'Casting The Runes', and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (from the late Stieg Larsson's novel). If you haven't seen them, don't miss!


  1. It's quite fashionable to sneer at Night of the Demon - possibly because the appearance of the demon itself is a little naff by modern cinematic standards - but I've always found it an excellent and powerfully atmospheric film that doesn't date in the least.

  2. I loved that Youtube clip Ray, only just seen it - made us chuckle!