Dead of Night

An Ealing classic.

An Ealing classic.

Dead of Night is a delightfully creepy horror anthology from 1945, which puts modern dross like V/H/S to shame.  Filmed at Ealing Studios, which is best known for comedies like The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets, this is definitely not a comedy.

Walter Craig, played by Mervyn Johns, is an architect who visits a country cottage for the weekend in the hope of winning a contract.  Upon arrival he finds the other guests gathered in the living room and they each take a turn telling tales of nightmares, deja vu and spooky experiences.

Walter’s story provides the wraparound for the anthology which includes a young girl’s festive ghost sighting; a dream of a racing driver’s post-accident recuperation; a tale of a haunted antique mirror (scarier than it sounds); a weaker-than-the-others story of a pair of golfers vying for the affections of the same woman; and finally, saving the best for last, Michael Redgrave as a ventriloquist and his evil dummy.

This is old school horror that relies on atmosphere, acting and stories rather than blood and guts, and as such is a lot more intelligent and satisfying than a lot of the guff horror fans are treated to today.

Score: 8/10

THIS CLIP CONTAINS SPOILERS

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7 responses to “Dead of Night

    • Thanks very much for reading, and for the comment. Hugo is seriously creepy! Ventriloquist dummies are right up there with clowns, as far as I’m concerned.

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