Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 12 - Movie 1

A witch uses her abilities through a magic mirror to try and protect her goddaughter from being murdered by her malevolent husband. When her attempts fail, she uses her abilities for revenge against the husband and his new wife.

El espejo de la bruja/ The Witch's Mirror (1960) is heavy on atmosphere, so heavy at times it's almost silly. The movie also has a bit of an odd structure to it. While the witch's vengeance drives the movie, it almost feels like two different movies joined together. The first third centers on the attempt, and subsequent failure, to save the life of the witch's goddaughter, followed by a successful bit of revenge. The remaining two thirds are essentially a more garish version of Eyes Without a Face (also 1960), as the wicked husband, who is also a doctor uses the bodies of dead women to try and restore the features of his disfigured second wife. The movie does create a disturbing look using the bandages to cover the second wife's face, giving her an unsettling gauze mask that's more horrible than what lies beneath.

This is a fun movie with it's spookhouse atmosphere, and gothic trappings, though it's constantly straddling a fine line between eerie and goofy. Your frame of mind will probably influence what side of the line you find yourself on. It's perfect for a rainy afternoon.

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