Scream of Fear (1961) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Seth Holt
Starring: Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd, Christopher Lee
Rated: M/Region B (Will play in A)/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from ViaVision Films
After narrowly surviving an accident in which she nearly drowned, the wheelchair bound Penny Appleby returns home to live with her widowed step-mother Jane on the French Riviera. She begins to question her sanity after several times seeing her father’s corpse around the house and its grounds and enlists the help of the friendly chauffeur Bob while attending Doctor Gerrard acts in a suitably sinister manner. No one is who they seem in this tale of intrigue and suspense…
It has been said before about this movie and I’ll say it again, if you like Hitchcock stuff you’ll be more than content with what you find in the Hammer film, Scream of Fear. I found the acting in this one to be top notch. All four of our major characters are played extremely well. Susan Strasberg is great in the role of the wheelchair bound Penny Appleby. Ronald Lewis and Ann Todd are good as well the roles of the chauffeur and stepmother also. You also can never talk about a film like this without talking about Christopher Lee in the role of Dr. Gerrard. I’ve seen some call the film predictable but I don’t think that hurts things that much. Then again, it is hard to talk badly about a film with such a good cast. The movie looks great. I think the beautiful black and white look of this one helps a lot for mood. And if that isn’t enough for you, we also have a creepy score to go along with it.
The movie has a great opening as it grabs attention with a scene to which police drag a lake for a body. The cast then puts everything in play and we are off and running. Yes, the movie is sort of done in a way that you can sort of see what is coming next but if you can just stay with it, we do get a pretty solid ending that makes the wait rewarding. Like I said already, this is very much a movie with a Hitchcock feel to it and that isn’t a bad thing. I like what this one is offering and the movie is as well-made as you can get all things considered. Via Vision does a really good job with their releases and this is another case of them doing just that. If you want another really solid Hammer film, it can be found here with this.
Quality of Transfer: 89%