young coed named Nan Barlow (Venetia
Stevenson) does a research for her paper
on witchcraft in New England as centuries
ago a woman named Elizabeth Selwyn
(Patricia Jessel) was burned at the stake
for being a witch and Elizabeth wants to
do some studies on her.
Her professor named Alan Driscoll
(Christopher Lee) tells her there;s a
village known as Whitewood where she can
spend her time finding out about Sewlyn
and there's a hotel there called the
Raven's Inn run by a Mrs. Newliss
While on the way she picks up a strange
man named Jethrow Keane (Valentine Dyall)
who is going there as well but suddenly
when she arrives he has suddenly
Also the locals stare at her mysteriously
and a blind reverend named Russell
(Norman Macowan) tries to ward her off
and tells her that there's danger from
where she is but she doesn't listen to
Suddenly while she stays at the hotel she
is marked for a sacrifice for a bunch of
undead witches and the innkeeper happens
to be Elizabeth herself who hasn't aged
at all since her sacrifice as her partner
that happened to be Jethrow asked Lucifer
to save her while she was burned at the
stake and her guests at the inn are her
other wtiches doing her evil deeds.
After Nan's disappearance, Russell's
granddaughter named Patricia (Betta St.
John) pays a visit to Nan's skeptical
brother Richard Barlow (Dennis Lotis) as
well as her boyfriend Bill Maitland (Tom
Naylor) as they decide to trace Nan down
to where she went but she realises that
she is in great danger as the witches
need to sacrifice another woman as well
on February the 1st for the Candleman
We show a perfect
beginning of a victim being sacrificed for witchcraft as it
looks very disturbing when she is burned
at the stake.
The tension really looked good by what we see with the locals and things like that as the makers did a good job as well as a good close up shot on someone lighting their torch to put it at the wood to burn at the stake and things like that. They made the situations look totally unpleasant.
Natural flowing discussions on present day when we spot Nan Barlow discussing on going to the area of the history on where witchcraft was done for her studies and her husband Richard not believeing an area of it which looked sharply done by what we all see on what was said.
Things look really good with Nan driving and she is in the deep mist as this gives a great horror feel to everything. There's an excellent shot on Jethrow Keane in the
dark mist approaching her in her car. This of course looked truly spooky and horror fans who liked old fashioned flick will get a kick out of this. Then when she arrives at the creepy village and she turns to talk to him he's not there which was a great add on to the story that there's something ghostly going on.
A nice camera shot on Mrs. Newless behind some shadows at the hotel walking
up to Nan with her serious
and wicked type actions towards her along with a mute troubled girl Lottie as it seems that she was trying to warn her on the place as this looked powerfully done. Plus we get an eeerie feeling with the discussions on things as well as Nan hearing the chantings later on in the hotel and Mrs. Newless telling her that the hotel is old and noises happen easily as this seemed spooky.
Great moment with Lottie trying to write a message on what will happen and getting caught in the act as well as a good shot on her getting strangled to death as this works evilly well in a horror flick.
A perfect setting of the creepy
old hotel in the mist as well with Nan walking around and the locals just
staring at her which looks a little
spooky. Things were perfect, silent and still with all of this happening which adds great timing to an old fashioned horror tale. Also a perfect moment when a blind Reverend Russell tries to warn her about the evils of the town and to get away which worked in greatly.
Also some good moments with people partying and dancing in the hotel and then when Nan comes back to check out on stuff the room is empty as this was another great moment of a haunting scene.
We see a great shot on Nan walking
down a cellar and then being grabbed by
cult members dragging her to be
sacrificed. Plus a perfect shot on Mrs. Nelwless ready to her in as you watch carefully to see this moment happening.
There is a real effective moment with Bill Maitland driving in his car and
suddenly there's an image before his eyes
with Elizabeth Selwyn cackling on the
stake while being burned and then his car
swerving and crashing. The results looked impressive with the battered up vehicle.
A good moment with Richard Barlow trying to book a room at the hotel and Mrs. Newless telling him they're closing in a couple days and him insisting as you wonder if she will give in as it adds a good pressuring moment to the scene.
We have great setting of the cult members dressed in black in a
graveyard with tombstones walking towards Richard Barlow, Bill Maitland and Patricia St. John when they try
to escape the hotel area and their hands
are reaching towards them.
Great shot at Elizabeth throwing a dagger at Bill's back as this really makes you watch in terror.
We spot a great shot on Bill picking up a large crucifix from the
ground and clumsily walking towards the
everyone and the cult members are lit of
fire as they do react painfully well to
this. Alot of great effective moments while seeing all of this.
Bottom line is that this is one of the
most original horror films I've ever seen
and the best B&W film during that
decade if I do say so myself as it had
great setttings with mist rolling around
at the outdoors making the story
terrifically dark and gloomy.
The film still looks creepy and stands
out to this day! Shock rocker King Diamond used alot of
clips from this movie for his video
"Sleepless Nights" which worked
wonderfully and the film is exciting each
minute too while watching it. Very
influential and inspiring too about
immortal witches with demonic powers.
The acting is
excellent for a film of it's time as it
still stands out to this day. Dennis Lotis (Richard
Barlow) came across strongly as a somewhat closed minded and cocky type on not believing in witchcraft as well as other events. He was powerful with his speaking as well as coming across as a strong minded type to get what he wants. Seemed to show good energy and enthusiasm into his role.
Christopher Lee (Prof. Allan Drsicoll) portrayed a nice
evil professor in the film as he is the
key role to this story and doesn't let us
down with his performance. There is a good stern look on his face when he says his
lines about witchcraft not being
nonsense. He is good at acting intense when
he is about to sacrifice a dove while
holding a dagger in one hand. Also was good by being menacing when he is about to do a cult ceremony or a sacrifice.
Patricia Jessel (Elizabeth Selwyn /
Mrs. Newless) was phenomenal with
her role as the witch in the film as well
as disguising herself as a hotel keeper
proving that she is versatile in her role
by being outrageously evil and silently
wicked at the same time. Shows an excellent wicked
expression to her face while holding a
dagger and bringing it down. Plus shows a nice icy and stern behavior in certain spots. Was passable at cackling in a scene too.
Betta St. John (Patricia Russell) showed a nice wholesome girl next door type of role a-offering a good intelligence and concerned type of behavior. Shows some nice energised behavior too and really on the ball with stuff. Really grabbed your attention as someone whom is mysterious as to how she fits into the story.
Venetia Stevenson (Nan Barlow) does fairly well
with her role as a researcher for the
legend of the sacrifice that took place
centuries ago and her role reminds me of a role done in Psycho. She really showed good enthusiasm as she brought stuff to life. She reacts greatly to being dragged away by onscreen cult members.
Supporting actor Valentine Dyall (Jethrow Keane) had
a nice deep voice to his character as a
ghostly type making his part mysterious
for the plot. He for sure came across as perfectly ghostly to all that he did into the story. I loved his still behavior and tall features too which he lived to play this role.
Other supporting actor Norman Macowan
(Reverend Russell) was so believeable as a spooked out old
blind reverend and is one of the best
actors in the film with his energetic
performance. He really stood out as reacting to stuff but not seeing wondering if he was really like that.
Ann Beach (Lottie) really strutted her stuff
well as a troubled mute employee at the
hotel showing nice reactions to the
terror surrounding her. Also has a good hyped reactions to stuff as she really does well to her frusterations on not being able to speak. Shows terrific wide eyed
shocking reactions while being strangled.
composes some perfect orchestration for
this film and has some chilling sounds
too for the scene's necessary for it too. Alot of drum rolling sounding off strong as well as quiverring classical music which gives it a ghostly feel. Plus some smooth clarinet playing and other saounds for the terrors that sounds powerful and intense. e hear chanting singing as this also sounds good and dark.