Daughter of Darkness (1948)

Article 2481 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-19-2008
Posting Date: 5-28-2008
Directed by Lance Comfort
Featuring Anne Crawford, Maxwell Reed, Siobhan McKenna
Country: UK

A female servant to a priest is driven out of town by women who dislike her and sense something wrong about her. She becomes a maid with a farm family, but it soon becomes apparent that she is dangerous and insane.

The last movie I’ve seen from director Lance Comfort was the poor but similarly-titled DEVILS OF DARKNESS. This one is far better. It’s not easily described; it’s a horror/crime movie, with the insanity of the maid being the primary horror element. The maid is considered a bad influence because of her power she gains over men, and Irish actress Siobhan McKenna does a stunning job in the role; she’s not conventionally beautiful by any means, but she has a way of projecting a truly unhealthy sexuality, both alluring and dangerously repressed, that makes the rest of the movie convincing. The movie has some memorable scenes, including an organ-playing sequence that recalls a moment from CARNIVAL OF SOULS, some great crowd footage, especially during the carnival scenes, and a truly memorable shot of a dog standing on the moors, his cold breath turning to smoke in the wind. The movie also features early roles for both Barry Morse and Honor Blackman. This movie is unjustly forgotten, but worth a look, as McKenna makes for one of the most memorable psychos in film history.


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