Mill of the Stone Woman (1960)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Costume Horror, Gothic Film  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - France , Italy   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Mill of the Stone Women is a little gem of a horror film that aficionados of the genre in particular will relish. This isn't to say that Mill is perfect; far from it, in fact. There are many flaws that one can point to. For example, the pacing of the first third is, shall we say, leisurely, and this will be a deterrent for many. Even after it picks up a bit in the second third, it isn't until the final portion of the film that things really come together. But when they do, they come together in a big way, and it not only makes up for the sluggishness, it makes one see that that slowness was necessary to make the payoff as big as it is. Even before the payoff, however, there's much to admire, notably director Giorgio Ferroni's excellent use of color and the care that he and Pier Ludovico Pavoni take in crafting their camera shots. And the gimmick of the "horror mill" itself is a fascinating one. It has its antecedents in other films (such as House of Wax), but it's presented in a particularly macabre manner here. As with many horror films, there are issues with the writing and some of the acting, but Ferroni leaves such a personal mark on the proceedings that most viewers will be more than happy to overlook the shortcomings and revel in this bizarre little exercise.