Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Hammer Films apply their characteristic Gothic touch to this offbeat psychological thriller about a bombastic 19th-century Baron (Robert Hardy) who keeps his two adult offspring imprisoned in the family estate, convinced they are afflicted by an evil curse of madness passed down from their late mother. Unfortunately, they're not the only ones to worry about: it seems a spate of recent murders in the surrounding village are being committed by his son (Shane Briant), who is being manipulated by his father's deranged will to leave the castle and act out Dad's twisted, violent fantasies. Superb photography and good use of locations lend a rich atmosphere to this psycho-costume-drama, and Patrick Magee turns in a good performance as the family doctor (somewhat reminiscent of his role in Coppola's Dementia 13). Director Peter Sykes keeps the horror fairly subdued until the bloody "shock" ending, which seems to spoil the mood a bit.
madness, baron [nobility], confinement, craziness, family, imprisonment, son, child-abuse, killing-spree, mental-illness, possession, abuse, nobility