This classic of British horror cinema’s golden age still holds up today in great part thanks to its striking visuals, courtesy of cinematographer John Coquillon and young director Michael Reeves, who would die less than a year from its release aged just 25. It’s hard not to ponder what might have become of his career on the strength what was only his third film proper, a revenge tale in a time of division and suspicion among the British people (nothing like the present, why would you even bring that up?) that’s really only let down by the red-paint blood and unenlightened sexual politics that were both typical of its era.
A suitably grim, autumnal rural England setting and a soundtrack composed with careful thought don’t quite make up for a plodding, episodic folk horror story that lacks cohesion and exposition. Basically, weird shit happens, it’s not really explained, the end. It feels a lot longer than its 90-odd minutes, and not in a good way.
Another competent WWE documentary; if you’ve seen any others, you know what to expect, that mix of rose-tinted hagiography and flashes of frank honesty.