Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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A Deceptive Flavour

A young woman, the only child of an immensely wealthy man, returns home after ten years to find her father mysteriously absent and the house occupied by her unpleasant stepmother and frequented by a sinister doctor played by Christopher Lee. If you think the real story behind this veneer is too easy to guess, you're wrong. 1961's Taste of Fear is labyrinth of greed and murder that fits together tight as a drum. Shot in gorgeous black and white by Douglas Slocombe, it's one of the best Hammer movies I've seen.

Susan Strasberg plays the young woman, very small and pretty, confined to a wheelchair and often wearing enormous, dark sunglasses. Her father's chauffeur, Bob (Ronald Lewis), the only seemingly friendly occupant of the house, observes it's as though she's trying to protect herself with the glasses, to put a wall between herself and others.

Almost the entire movie is from her point of view and we follow her as she explores the large, lonely house filled with brilliant shadows by Slocombe. And as she seems to encounter the corpse of her father in various locations, propped up in chairs, only to find him gone when she brings anyone else into the room to see.

Her small size and her paralysed legs make the atmosphere around her all the more threatening, like Audrey Hepburn's blindness in Wait Until Dark.

It wouldn't be nice of me to say much about the plot beyond that but I think this is definitely a film that would reward at least a second viewing.
Tags: christopher lee, douglas slocombe, halloween, hammer, movies, susan strasberg, taste of fear

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