strange and unexpectedly ethereal
- The Night of the Hunter review by The Lesser Merlin
I first saw this film in the 1970's and it grabbed me then. Seen again in the 1990's and now in 2010, it still grabs me - but I'm not sure I know why.
It was ahead of its time in many ways and has influenced generations of directors. Originally intended to be a suspenseful thriller, this is no longer the case. The sets and scenery, together with the 1950's acting style make this film more of a fairy tale (it has a strange and unexpectedly ethereal quality) in spite of being based on a real murder.
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
Unique, influential and brilliant thriller.
- The Night of the Hunter review by Steve Mason
Laughton, and cinematographer Stanley Cortez channel the spirits of DW Griffith and German Expressionism in this unique, half dreamt world. This idealised depiction of the picket fenced tranquility of small town America, harbouring such violent corruption, was the obvious model for David Lynch.
Wonderfully acted, particularly Mitchum's sexually deviant preacher, and that most remarkable event, a brilliant child performance by Billy Chapin.
We now call this Southern Gothic. It took a decade for this film to find an audience, perhaps because of its originality. Laughton never directed again, but he has left us an imperishable classic, of rich, visual poetry.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
One of the scariest movies ever made
- The Night of the Hunter review by JK
This film never ceases to send shivers down my spine. Clunky, dated and a bit hammy at times, the silhouette of a picket fence and that haunting voice singing an old Southern hymn is more foreboding than any CGI horror with crashing orchestration.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.