Scream of Fear (1961)

Genres - Crime, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Apr 4, 1961 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Scream of Fear was clearly inspired by both Psycho and Les Diaboliques, but its obvious lineage doesn't prevent it from being a spine tingling chiller in its own right. Fear is a delight for fans of "old school" horror (the non-monster kind), the kind of film that delights in building up suspense, of milking a scare, of implying rather than showing. It also delights in more twists and turns to its plot than you can count. For some, this will be a bit of a detriment, as, truth to tell, not all of the plot perambulations are entirely credible. But what they lack in credibility, they make up for in cinematic impact, and for this reason most viewers will shrug off any implausibilities that crop up here and there. JimmY Sangster's expertly crafted screenplay is given spot-on direction from Seth Holt, who knows exactly how each scene needs to be shot, what values need to be emphasized, and what to do to keep viewers from figuring out what's going on and spoiling any of the surprises. It's exactly the kind of direction Fear needs, and it's aided beautifully by Douglas Slocombe's intensely atmospheric cinematography and the sharp, sharp, SHARP editing of Eric Boyd-Perkins and James Needs. Susan Strasberg is a great damsel-in-distress, Ann Todd a marvelous perhaps-villainess and Christopher Lee a welcome questionable participant.