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This is a quite special movie from the '70's. It shows once again that you don't need much more than simply good idea to make a great, chilling and memorable movie.

It's far from a traditional horror movie from the '70's, in the sense that all of its horror is in the build up and eventual pay off of the movie. But other than that, there are no jump scares, gory killings, or anything else along those lines to be found in this movie. Throughout the movie, you know something creepy and unusual is going on but you don't what it is, until the very end. Lots of people compare this movie to "Rosemary's Baby" because of the way how it's build up and slowly unravels. And yes, it's a pretty good and accurate comparison in my opinion. though "Rosemary's Baby" remains the superior movie in my opinion.

It does a wonderful job setting up the mystery and building up an eerie atmosphere and tone for the movie. Not that the movie is without any entertainment though. It often has a more goofy and entertaining sort of approach to it as well, with all of its quirky townsfolk, all of its songs (seriously, it was like I was watching a musical at times) and some of the story developments. The movie foremost is still being a subtle one but also yet a far from slow or ever boring movie, despite the slow pace and the way things slowly unravel.

Also definitely good to see a genre movie in which the ending doesn't disappoint. Sure, the ending isn't much of a surprise anymore to most people, even for those who haven't seen the movie yet. It's such an iconic and well known ending, that even people who haven't seen the movie know all about already. Besides, the biggest spoiler is in the title of the movie and in some cases on the cover as well. But still, like most people, I already knew what was coming and what the movie kept building up toward, yet the ending still hit me as something genuinely shocking. Definitely one of the better horror endings I've seen.

Out of the many, many roles and many, many different villains he has played throughout this career, Christopher Lee always regarded his character and performance in this movie as one of his personal favorites. A role he didn't even get paid for! But it's not hard to see why it would be one of his favorites really. He truly isn't holding back in this one and it actually is a very versatile character that he's playing. On the one hand a 'gentleman villain', he so often has played throughout his career but on the other hand, an also total nutcase! I also love how his hair just goes crazy for some reason, whenever his character does something evil. He obviously had some serious fun doing this movie and playing his character, without going ridiculously over-the-top with anything by the way. It's a performance that perfectly suits the story and overall tone of the movie.

And further more, an '70's movie starring both Britt Ekland and Ingrid Pitt in it? That alone should be reason enough to watch this movie. And yes, Britt Ekland isn't afraid to take off some clothes in this, to put things politely.

This movie is a great rare treat to watch, that through its atmosphere, setting and build up manages to work out as one truly eerie and mesmerizing horror movie.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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