Saturday, January 2, 2010
Day 291: Black Sunday (1960) - Rank 3.5/5
I'm sure it will be a horror faux pas not to give the quintessential Mario Bava pic the highest of marks, but there was just an element that kept me from being completely hooked into the story. The trouble is, upon reflection, it's hard to say exactly what. My first instinct is to suggest pacing, for the plot does unfold at a deliberately somber rate. However, there are a number of horror films I absolutely love from that era, from "The Haunting" to the Corman/Price Poe adaptations that progress at a slower rate. I can't criticize the script either, for not only is it pretty solid within its own right, but it also invokes a delightfully macabre atmosphere, not unlike good Lovecraft tales. The cinematography as eerily beautiful as much of the work Conrad Hall in the black and white medium and the acting moody...so why didn't the film grab me?
The more I think about it, the more I have to place the blame on unrealistically high expectations based on too much hype. Typically, hype only ruins a newer film for me - the very reason I held off on seeing "Star Trek" upon its original release. So why did "Black Sunday" have so much buzz about it considering it's a fifty year old film? Well, simply put, I hang out with a lot of old school horror geeks. I will point out though that the film merits revisitation at a later date, simply because, as I already mentioned, for all intents and purposes, I should have loved this film.
By the way, as you may note, the year is over, but I shall finish the backlog of reviews from films I watched in 2009 before I leave the blog be, even if I'm only writing these reflections for myself.
Watch the Trailer