Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days of Halloween - Day 30 - Movie 1

Nicholas Medina's (Vincent Price) fragile mental state is on the brink of collapse as he struggles with childhood memories of watching his father murder his uncle and torture and bury alive his mother, and guilt he suffers over the death of his own wife, whom he fears he buried alive, and whose presence seems to still reside in the castle, tormenting him. A cast of characters in attendance find themselves at the mercy of his psychosis and the basement dungeon full of the torture devices Nicholas has inherited from his father.

The Pit and The Pendulum (1961)  is a stylish and engaging movie directed by Roger Corman from a screenplay by Richard Matheson which incorporates material from Poe into his expansive, haunting screenplay. This film practically drips with damp, oppressive, gothic atmosphere. The performances are good, and the plot is riveting in that it's clear all along that there's more to what's happening than we are being shown, but how much, and what? The ending is also deliciously cruel.

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