The Seventh Victim (1943)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Gothic Film, Supernatural Horror  |   Release Date - Aug 21, 1943 (USA)  |   Run Time - 71 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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One of producer Val Lewton's stylish B-horror movies for RKO, The Seventh Victim presaged modern horror with homegrown witches and implications of domestic evil. Shrouded in a moody, film noiresque atmosphere of deep black-and-white shadows, the attempts of Kim Hunter's "good" Mary to rescue her sister Jacqueline from a witches' cult take on unsettling overtones of unspoken emotion and repressed jealousies. Even as the creepily genteel witches seem to succeed in their plan for taking their next victim, the grim ending's economically evocative imagery suggests that Jacqueline's fate lies as much with her supposedly decent husband and her sister as with the story's apparent monsters. A precursor to Rosemary's Baby (1968) with its seemingly benign Manhattan coven, The Seventh Victim also has a pre-Psycho (1960) shower scene, pointing to the Alfred Hitchcock classic that would definitively bring movie horror into the no-longer-safe home and family.