Les Diaboliques (1955) & In Fabric (2018) Reviews

Les Diaboliques (1955)

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

Based on She Who Was No More by Boileau-Narcejac

Starring: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal plan to murder him with what they believe is the perfect alibi.

My Opinion:

I unfortunately saw the terrible 1996 remake of this starring Sharon Stone years ago. Rubbish! I thought I’d managed to completely put it out of my mind until halfway through this original French film, when I suddenly remembered the whole story. Damn. Well, it’s still a fantastic murder-plot-mystery thriller and I’d highly recommend the original film, directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, to anyone who likes this sort of genre. (Seriously, do NOT watch the 1996 remake. Ugh.)

The wife & the mistress of the same abusive asshole plot to murder him & make it look like an accident. But many weird & inexplicable things happen as the story unfolds. The actresses in this (Simone Signoret & Véra Clouzot) are fantastic and you are rooting for them (especially the poor wife) through the whole film. And do you know what happened when the credits came up at the end of this 1955 movie?! A warning to not spoil the ending of the film for others so that they could enjoy it too! Funny. So people were dicks about spoiling movies in 1955 just like they are in 2021. At least they could avoid Twitter in 1955.

My Rating: 7.5/10

In Fabric (2018)

Directed & Written by Peter Strickland

Starring: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Julian Barratt, Steve Oram, Gwendoline Christie, Barry Adamson, Jaygann Ayeh, Richard Bremmer, Terry Bird, Fatma Mohamed

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film follows a haunted red dress as it torments various owners.

My Opinion:

This was bizarre. I was very excited to see this on BBC iPlayer as it looked like just my type of thing. I like to watch these “Giallo-inspired” movies. But then they end up being really shit & I think I’d have been better off just watching an actual Italian horror from the ’70s instead of a very poor imitation. Hated that Suspiria remake too! What was the point of that?? Well, at least this was an original story instead of a remake, I guess.

I did like director Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio okay but this one didn’t really work. I’d say there were certain things I liked about it, though. The score & the look were fine (even though it’s ripping off the Giallo style – Again, I should have just checked out another Dario Argento film even though I know none are as good as Deep Red or Suspiria). There are also two stories in this weird “killer dress” movie & the second one sucks. The first one, starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste & Gwendoline Christie, actually wasn’t too bad & I’d be giving the film a higher rating if it had ended there. Why did they feel the need to add the second? Also, the movie is veeeeery slow & the first story dragged on for far longer than it needed to.

I think this may have actually been a decent horror anthology instead with four or five stories involving the killer dress. I’d watch several really good stories about a killer dress! Why do one okay story & one completely rubbish one?? Well, I don’t recommend this unless you like slightly boring modern movies that poorly rip off ’70s horror classics (if you liked The Love Witch, which I thought was terrible, you’d probably like In Fabric).

My Rating: 5/10

Berberian Sound Studio (2012) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Directed by Peter Strickland

Toby Jones
Antonio Mancino
Fatma Mohamed
Tonia Sotiropoulou
Susanna Cappellaro
Cosimo Fusco
Suzy Kendall

Running time: 94 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film centres on the character of Gilderoy (Toby Jones), a British foley artist working on the audio track for an Italian giallo film, The Equestrian Vortex.

More plot synopsis via me:
This is his first time working on a horror film and as he sees the same horrific images over and over again while providing the sound effects, he starts to slowly lose his mind. Or does he? I don’t know. Does he?! Someone explain this movie to me!

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My Opinion:

Umm. Right. Okay.

This is the final film I watched for Halloween Horror Fest. Why couldn’t I finish on a simple one?! There’s a good review of this from Rhino’s Horror HERE. Maybe you should read that review instead because I don’t know what the hell was going on at the end of this film. 😉

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So! I quite liked this movie at the start. I think I still liked it at the end, too. I loved the look & the feel of it as it’s set in the 1970s and the 70s were funky and people wore the coolest ugly clothes and had the coolest ugly wallpaper. It was all quite creepy and eerie and it was REALLY interesting watching the “behind the scenes” things that went into making old horror films (not that I can say how accurate it all was or wasn’t). Oh, and the sound and the soundtrack and all that was great. Which one would hope seeing as that’s kind of the point of the whole thing…

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I don’t have much experience with Italian horror films beyond Suspiria (which the film within this film is most likely trying to sound like if what I’ve read online is to be believed). I think anyone who loves those sort of films may at least find Berberian Sound Studio interesting. Or if you like the thought of watching someone make the sound effects for this sort of movie. Or if you like things a little David Lynch-like. I sort of felt the same way at the end of Berberian Sound Studio as I did while watching Mulholland Drive. As in “WTF is going on?”.

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This is a nice looking and very nice sounding artsy fartsy sort of film that someone like me probably just can’t fully appreciate. What I did love is that we never see the horror film in this film – we only hear it. That was great (and maybe a little brave). You still get a great sense of the horrific things that are happening in that film, though, and how difficult the Toby Jones character is finding it to have to keep watching these images. So this is a “no gore” movie (yay!) but still rated a 15 in the UK for the subject matter and some pretty descriptive stuff.

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So. Did I like this movie? I did sort of enjoy it, actually. It’s very slow and not too much happens until close to the end, when it goes a bit mental. This is when it lost me and I could spend hours on the message boards reading what people think was really going on. I used to do that. But then I got too old and too busy to do those sort of things. So if anyone wants to explain the end of the film to me in the comments below, feel free to do so! I’d rather do other things.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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