The Black Torment (1964)

Article 3401 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-25-2010
Posting Date: 12-6-2010
Directed by Robert Hartford-Davis
Featuring Heather Sears, John Turner, Ann Lynn
Country: UK
What it is: Sinister secrets horror story

A lord returns to his estate with his new bride after a departure of three months. However, he finds himself under suspicion of having committed crimes in the area despite his absence, due to the testimony of several witnesses.

I have to admit to a certain admiration for this movie’s set-up; usually, the story of a noble bringing his new bride to the ancestral home turns into a GASLIGHT variation of sort where the bride encounters mysteries and family secrets while being terrorized. In this one, however, the groom is just as puzzled by the mysteries as the bride, and this definitely piqued my interest. Granted, I was able to sort out parts of the mystery long before the final revelations (thanks to a scene involving a broken family tradition), but it was still fun seeing how the various details unfolded, and even though this type of movie generally turns out to have a non-supernatural explanation, this one really leaves you wondering at times. I found myself quite satisfied while I was watching it, despite a scenery-chewing performance by John Turner. Unfortunately, the second it’s over, the plot holes start showing through. Still, it is original enough that it’s worth a watch.


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