Eye of the Devil (1967)

Article #444 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-2-2002
Posting date: 10-26-2002

The wife of a marquis visits him on his estate against his wishes and discovers strange goings on in the vicinity.

Apparently this movie was cut before its initial release, which may explain why it’s somewhat muddled. Still, it has one of those solid horror premises in which someone finds themselves in a strange isolated community with odd beliefs (the same basic setup as THE WICKER MAN), and you expect a little confusion to be part of the story. This would have worked if it had built up to a satisfying ending, but once it was all over, I felt let down and disappointed, not because of how it chose to end but rather because that was all there was to it. So the movie seems to be missing something; the mystery in itself isn’t elaborate enough to sustain the length. What I think is missing is character; there are very few people in the movie that seem to exist as human beings; I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the actors in the movie saw their characters as existing solely to creep out the wife, and in order to make the whole thing more compelling, they need more humanity and dimension. As it is, the movie spends way too much time trying to be creepy, and there are way too many scenes of villagers just standing stock still and staring at people; you keep hoping someone will at least scratch themselves or something.

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