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(Review originally written at 16 August 2007)

Many people know that the '70's were the decade of the innovative and experimental movies. What most don't know is that this style of movie-making already started in the the mid '60's, with movies such as "Grand Prix", "Bullitt" and of course this one.

The movie fantastically uses multiple split-screen effects to tell the story. What can I say, I just have a weak spot for this sort of stuff. I'm a Brian De Palma fan, so I need to say no more I would think. You can argue if all those split-screen sequences are necessary and serve a purpose. It however provides the movie with so much originality, pace and creativity that it uplifts the movie as a whole. Not only the split-screen sequences in the movie are innovative, there also are lots of other creative sequences in the movie that help to make this an extremely original and brilliant movie to watch.

But not only the style is '70's like, also the gritty and straightforward story-telling of the movie is. This movie reminded me very much of the Fritz Lang classic "M". It had the sort of same approach and storyline about the manhunt on a criminal, without really focusing on one character, or any other distracting plot-line. It makes the movie feel like a documentary like observation of the Boston strangler events.

The acting is absolutely top-class. Just like in "M", the murderer doesn't appear in full form until late into the movie. A great move, that increases the tension and mystery of the movie. I think that Tony Curtis was absolutely greatly cast as Albert DeSalvo, who gives him personality and gives him an animal feel at the same time. Also the other actors are first-class, with people such as Henry Fonda, George Kennedy and Murray Hamilton in some great roles. It's some of the best acting you'll see in an '60's movie. The acting, just like the entire approach of the movie, is very realistic and help to make the story and its atmosphere work out.

I've never been too fond of '50's and '60's movies, since they mostly are all the same in their approach and are slow moving with some outdated acting in it. but thanks to movies like this one, my appreciation is really starting to grow.

Due to its approach and style the movie is an interesting one from start till finish, that also provide the movie with a welcome unpleasant and uneasy atmosphere, that help to make this an haunting and memorable thriller.

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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