Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I Walked With a Zombie

I Walked With a Zombie is a 1943 Val Lewton horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur. It's inspired by the Bronte novel Jane Eyre. I like this one. It's creepy and eerie without all the gore and shock that some horror movies aim for.


Variety says it "fails to measure up to the horrific title." The New York Times takes a swipe at the Hays Office:
If the Hays office feels it has a duty to protect the morals of movie-goers by protesting the use of such expressions as "hell" and "damn" in purposeful dramas like "In Which We Serve" and "We Are the Marines," then how much more important is its duty to safeguard the youth of the land from the sort of stuff and nonsense that their minds will absorb from viewing "I Walked With a Zombie"? ? ?

Moria gives it 4 stars, reports that "Many consider I Walked With a Zombie the best of Val Lewton’s films" and says, "As with all of Val Lewton’s films, I Walked with a Zombie hovers on the deliberate edge of ambiguity between whether the explanation for events is mundane or supernatural." 1000 Misspent Hours offers a different opinion:
A lot of people consider I Walked with a Zombie second only to Cat People among RKO’s Lewton-produced thrillers from the early-to-mid 1940’s. The main basis for all this praise seems to be the “poetry” of the film, with its juxtaposition of family dysfunction and black magic against the scenic beauty of the idyllic West Indies setting. Call me boor and a knuckle-dragger, but I frankly couldn’t care less about such things. This is a voodoo movie, damn it! If I want poetry, I’ll watch Swedish art films,

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