Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Curse of the Demon (1957)

Terrific British horror movie about an American psychologist (a pretty stiff Dana Andrews) who goes to England to investigate a satanic cult led by Niall McGinnis. He's helped in his investigations by Peggy Cummins, a Nancy Drew type whose uncle was murdered by the demon of the title. What I really enjoyed about this movie was the deliberate pace and the way the suspense builds through nothing more than atmosphere and foreboding. It speeds up a little too fast toward the end but apparently that's the fault of the American edit of the film (the British version is fifteen minutes longer and also called The Night of the Demon).

There are some good names behind the the scenes of this film as well. Obviously the director, Jacques Tourneur, but also the production designer, Ken Adams, famous for early Bond films and Dr. Strangelove. It's a good-looking movie and I'm sure Mr. Adams had plenty to do with that.

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