The Night Child (1975)

aka Il medaglione insanguinato
Article 3020 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-14-2009
Posting Date: 11-20-2009
Directed by Massimo Dallamano
Featuring Richard Johnson, Joanna Cassidy, Ida Galli
Country: Italy / UK

A documentary maker gives his daughter a medallion that once belonged to his deceased wife. Is the medallion making the girl a murderer who is intent on killing the other women in her father’s life?

Director Massimo Dallamano started his career as a cinematographer, and you can tell; the movie seems to exist for its beautiful cinematography, and there are sections of it that feel more like a travelogue than a horror movie. It’s been described as a knock-off of THE EXORCIST, and it is, to some extent, but it prefers to borrow from the quieter aspects of that movie rather than the more spectacular ones usually emphasized in knock-offs. It’s an uneven movie; there are some eerie moments (especially in a castle where a rare painting is found), some dull moments (the travelogue sequences), and the odd music is sometimes effective, sometimes tiresome. It’s almost too quiet in some ways, but I can understand this; the movie is most likely to stumble or come across as silly when it gets louder or more blatantly horrific. And I’m not quite sure at this point whether I like the ending or not, though there is a certain queasy logic to it.


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