And Now The Screaming Starts

1973

Horror /

0
IMDb Rating 5.9

Synopsis


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23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
91 min
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91 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by simon-118 7

Odd film, this. Not being the biggest fan of Hammer, I always felt Amicus a more competent stable (neither really produced a film that was actually frightening, but they could be entertaining, and Amicus were glossy and lurid.) This one is a little-known piece that always gets bad reviews but I happen to like it. Firstly, it has a splendid cast. Secondly, the camerawork is something to behold, the sickly lurid colours blending in with the gorgeous period costumes and attractive, dramatic locations. There is also a little more going on here than meets the eye. Perhaps a subtle nod to the Glamis Castle story...? There&#39;s a little bit of class war going on, and despite its vivid rape scene I can&#39;t help feeling this isn&#39;t quite the exploitation movie it appears. For an early 70s movie it does at least treat the issue seriously; the effect it has on the victim and the fact that no measures can atone for it are believable.<br/><br/>A word to the excellent music, beautiful but interspersed with a spooky zither. And Geoffrey Whitehead is very good. The graveyard climax is pretty powerful too, and the closing shot as a camera wanders an empty room to the Bible is a cut above what one expects from this genre. The bad points are the tacky severed hand, the occasional Grand Guignol hamminess and the fact that the film does rather overplay it&#39;s hand...it spends so long building up to its revelation that by then it will always be a let down.<br/><br/>And one other criticism...Catherine recovers from her wedding night ordeal ridiculously quickly, which totally contradicts the film&#39;s central premise. Still, the open window symbolism and the Malleus Mallificarum references are neat, as is the wonderful scene of Charles standing by the window as the snow falls and reading the lines from Milton&#39;s Comus. This film honestly isn&#39;t as bad as you may think and you could certainly do alot worse on a dark winter evening!

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Reviewed by ma-cortes 6

This eerie film is developed in an ancient and isolated castle and it takes place in 1795. . A just married couple goes home their grandparents during wedding night . As young Catherine just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle . She becomes victim of an old curse that lays on the family . On her wedding night she&#39;s raped by a ghost and gets pregnant . The fiancé Charles Fengriffen (Ian Ogilvy) and his fiancée (Stephanie Beacham) aren&#39;t aware about the curse by terrible events occurred in past times and mysterious deeds are actually happening . In 1795 Silas , a young man who worked in stables attempts to avoid the violation of his young wife by the noble Fengriffen (Herbert Lom , he is second-billed as one of the main stars , though only appears in an extended flashback sequence). During the taking off between the noble landowner and the flunky is severed the hand of Silas . One time dead the noble , the vengeful spirit returns the castle , the revenge will be with the successors of tyrant Fengriffin . The severed hand goes back to torment the young couple , they are caught up by an ominous ghost and become inextricably involved in weird killings with several corpses . They will confront the mysterious evil force and legacy of horror of the Frengriffen family . Then the great Peter Cushing shows up to investigate at whatever risk .<br/><br/>This Amicus production (Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky) is a good terror film with malevolent spectres and family curses and with amazing final surprise . The movie is plenty of grisly murders , tension , terror , genuine screaming , horrible chills and a little bit of blood and gore . The picture packs a creepy atmosphere and strange color by the fine cinematographer Dennis Cop . The casting is frankly well , there appears various awesome British actors , the always excellent Peter Cushing , Patrick McGee , Guy Rolfe and the habitual villain Herbert Lom who does not appear at all until the last quarter of the film . The tale was rightly directed by Roy War Baker who realized magnificent terror films (Quatermass and the pit) . Motion picture will appeal to British horror enthusiasts .

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Reviewed by Vornoff-3 6

Amicus and Hammer studios were very much in the same market, even to the point of competing for the same stars and directors. A quick glance at the cast, crew and plot summary of `And Now the Screaming Starts&#39; could mislead one to believe it was a Hammer production: Roy Ward Baker, Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom and Patrick Magee were all known for their contributions to Hammer history, and the Gothic premise of a late 18th century ghost story fits their profile well. Nevertheless, certain elements tag this as distinctive from the Hammer cycle, and make it of note to horror completists, although perhaps of less interest to general audiences.<br/><br/>The film was originally based on an obscure novella entitled `Fengriffin,&#39; after the name of the cursed family line around which the story centers. Of course, a movie called `Fengriffin&#39; would have been a weak seller in any market, particularly the lurid horror market of the early 1970&#39;s, (`Texas Chainsaw Massacre&#39; came out only two years after), so it was inevitable that a splashier title would be selected. In choosing `And Now the Screaming Starts&#39;, the producers assured their film cult status and greatly embarrassed most of the actors, who had thought they were working on a more `serious&#39; film. The title seems to fit well, however, as lovely Stephanie Beacham demonstrates her lung capacity often, particularly in the first third of the film.<br/><br/>The story follows a standard plot of Gothic decadence: a noble family is cursed for the libertine debauches of an ancestor, and the young generation pays the price. This is typical of a period in literature in which wistful nostalgia for the aristocracy was combined with growing class resentment and a sense that the nobility had `failed&#39; in their responsibilities as leaders. Amicus updates this by including an axe murder, a rotten corpse-ghost with no eyes, a severed hand, and a somewhat overly subtle rape scene by said ghost. The rape is particularly typical of Amicus&#39; approach to the genre, as compared to Hammer&#39;s. At the time, Hammer was doling out overt doses of sex alongside their blood, and frontal nudity was not uncommon. Amicus, however, shied away from nudity or sex almost prudishly, and refused to allow its stars to be seen as compromised. Why they would select a story that hinges on a rape they refused to show (or even imply effectively) is perhaps the greatest mystery.<br/><br/>The true star of this movie is the female victim, often the case in well produced Gothic drama. Top-billed Peter Cushing appears 47 minutes into the movie as her doctor, an `ahead-of-his-time&#39; psychiatrist who wants to prove that the supernatural elements are all in her head. The filmmakers have given us a few too many clues at this point for there to be any real doubt, but watching him methodically seek a rational answer (and his excellent downplayed performance) gives the plot a new lease on life after it begins to drag a bit. Patrick Magee as the eccentric country doctor and Herbert Lom as the decadent ancestor are also excellent. A bit less convincing are Ian Ogilvy as the concerned husband and Geoffrey Whitehead as the outraged peasant.<br/><br/>Overall, the film is directed well, nicely photographed, and has beautiful sets and good effects, considering the low budget. Nevertheless, it seems to lack `something&#39; that would make it worthy of repeat viewings. The sense of dread one associates with the best of Gothic drama is undermined somewhat by the romantic, upbeat score. Perhaps there are too many scenes shot in daylight, or the castle isn&#39;t quite gloomy and decrepit enough to transmit the sense of the curse. Whatever it may be, I recommend this more as a curiosity than a great film.

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