Thursday, October 11, 2012

Many Tales of Terror

One of the earliest known anthologies, Dead Of Night (1945) slowly builds up to a fevered pitch, containing many great short tales that range from humorous to incredibly creepy. Naturally they are linked together by both coincidence and the circumstances that bring a group of people together in a room. This is usually the basis for most horror anthologies, and a twist normally happens at the end. Unlike some of the other ones I've viewed this collection's finale was something I failed to guess, which made it all the more surprising. Yet the strongest and most terrifying piece ended up being the one with the dummy, although that can be attributed to dummies having that particular look of evil on their wooden faces. The idea of a non-living entity controlling a person is usually a nightmare that many people have, and that device has been used for many horror movies, most famously Magic starring Anthony Hopkins.

What I loved the most about Dead of Night though was the little things it did so particular well, bits that cause the film to be highly memorable. The first tale uses the seemingly innocent appearance of a hearse driven by carriage to be death channeling the driver, telling a man that "There is room for one more inside." Or a girl running into a ghost unknowingly, caring for a restless spirit. Wonders and mysteries abound in a world full of dreams and nightmares, an endless land that knows no boundaries. Horror movies merely cross that threshold, inviting the viewer along for the ride. Most of us always say yes. 95

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