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Throughout the years I have seen plenty of William Wyler movies but this one is probably the one that sticks out, since it's a movie that is not very typical for him or his normal style. It's unlike anything else really and not really all that common for its time either.

You could say that with this movie William Wyler is attempting a more Alfred Hitchcock type of approach, with a minimal amount of settings and characters in it, in order to create a sense of suspense. And out of all the Hitchcock type of wannabe-movies, this is one that actually works out really well and also as still very original on its own.

Thing that makes this movie great is that you never can be sure what to expect from it. This is mostly because its main character, played by a very young Terence Stamp, is so incredibly unpredictable. On the one hand you can definitely see and recognize a sad but still friendly and well-meaning side to him, while at others he's being a total psychopath, who can be violent and unpredictable with his actions.

This is where most of the tension comes from. The unusual dynamic between the two main characters, the one tries to win her heart, while the other is more focused on escaping and purely surviving, gives the movie plenty of depth and provides it with some unexpected moments in it. You really never know what to expect, since it often remains unclear what is truly going on inside of the heads of the two main characters and the movie keeps you guessing, basically till the end, on how it is going to all come to an end.

It also truly adds a lot that this is movie set in England, as opposed to a random American city for instance. It's more dark, bleak, moody, Gothic type of atmosphere does a lot for this movie, as well as its very English actors, of which Terence Stamp will stick most to the mind, as the unpredictable young guy with a couple of screws loose and an unhealthy obsession for a young girl, played by Samantha Eggar.

The story itself is being kept quite simple and the storytelling is also of the slower kind, so perhaps this movie is not for just everybody. However if you can appreciate and enjoy a more subtle and atmospheric kind of psychological thriller, this is an absolute must-see for you.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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