Sunday, 17 July 2011

Spooks and Spells

Night of the Eagle is a black and white chiller based on a novel by Fritz Leiber. An anthropology Professor discovers his wife has been practising black magic for years and soon after destroying her fetishes his life begins to fall apart and he starts to question his faith in logic & reason. There's some stylish cinematography and fine performances especially by Peter Wyngarde as the doubting Prof and it's a surprisingly effective watch given it's age.

Insidious is directed by James Wan, creator of the Saw franchise. Eschewing torture porn this time around Wan has crafted a retro chiller in the Poltergeist/Amityville vein as a family become increasingly haunted after their young son falls into a coma and nerves shredded they turn to a local psychic and her bumbling ghostbusting assistants for help. The acting is decent enough but it's gleefully unoriginal but somehow despite the cheesy imagery, old school sfx and papery characters Wan squeezes plenty of atmosphere and a fair few scares out of the proceedings. Much better than I'd expected.

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