Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Nightmare' is great psychological thriller from Hammer Films

Nightmare (aka "Here's the Knife, Dear: Now Use It")
Starring: David Knight, Moria Redmon, and Jennie Linden
Director: Freddie Francis
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

When Janet, an emotionally unstable teenaged heiress (Linden) returns from boarding school to live in her ancestral home, she quickly descends into psychosis when the restless ghost of her mother seems to haunt the place.

"Nightmare" is a rarely seen gothic/psychological thriller from Hammer Films, a studio known mostly for its Frankenstein and Dracula films. This film is on par with the best of their monster movies, and is made even stronger by the fact that for the first half, it seems like a typical gothic thriller--with the standard real reason behind why the emotionally frail protagonist in the story is being haunted/going insane --but just where other movies like this would be wrapping up, "Nightmare" takes a sudden, sharp turn into new and unpredictable territory.

If you've seen alot of movies of this type--like I have--it might be tempting to give up on this one after Janet's suicide attempt because it will feel like you've seen it all before and you know exactly where the movie's going... but stick with it. You won't be sorry.