Scream of Fear (1961)

aka Taste of Fear
Article 1823 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-12-2006
Posting Date: 8-9-2006
Directed by Seth Holt
Featuring Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis, Ann Todd

A young crippled woman returns to her father’s home in France, but her father is not around. After getting contradictory stories on where her father is, she begins to see his corpse popping up at odd times.

You should be able to figure out what some of the twists will be in this black-and-white Hammer thriller; in this way, a bit of this thriller is fairly predictable. However, the scares are so effectively staged and the movie’s use of sound is so stunning that you’ll probably get caught up in the story anyway. Furthermore, even if you do foresee some of the twists, there are others you won’t, and the whole story builds up to a truly satisfying ending. All in all, this is one of Hammer’s best thrillers; it’s only real problem is that it gets a little slow in the middle of the movie. There are some great scenes here, including one with a freezer, another with an out-of-control car, and a late-night dive into a swimming pool (and the Applebys really needed to clean that thing out!). Christopher Lee is on hand in a supporting role, and he even tries on a French accent. Director Seth Holt has only a handful of movies to his credit, but his oeuvre also includes another of my favorite Hammer thrillers, THE NANNY .


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