The Innocents
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The Innocents (USA/United Kingdom, 1961, 20th Century Fox) follows Deborah Kerr as a lone governess confronting diabolical forces manifesting power through her young charges (the stakes rival The Exorcist). It gives the sensation of seeing ghosts on film, usually in the distance, silently menacing. Fear looking out the window to find a face looking in?  This movie delivers on the chills. Ripe for analysis of the governess’ mental state first and always, it delivers as a ghost story.

Horror Hotel (aka City of the Dead) (United Kingdom, 1960, Trans Lux) is another not-to-be-missed classic. It’s a truly creepy, clever tale of an evil witch and her coven. Full of trap doors, secret passages, and ominous warnings from stock horror characters, its sets are reminiscent of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu....  Christopher Lee stars, but for me the real prize is the performance by Patricia Jessel.

  • Jeff Alderman
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