The Infernal Cauldron (1903)

aka Le chaudron infernal
Article 4157 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-15-2013
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Eerie trick short

Two devils sacrifice three women in a cauldron and summon forth their spirits.

This is one of Melies’s more impressive trick films, not so much because of the complexity of the special effects, but because the hand-tinted color is particularly vivid, and there’s an authentically eerie air to the proceedings, especially when the three spirits manifest themselves. There’s not really much of a story, and what there is is a bit muddled in the final moments; I suspect that the spirits may be taking revenge on the devils, but it looks like some action is lost in the splices. This may be one of Melies’s most pronounced forays into horror.

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