Friday, 23 August 2013

Nightmare (1964)

Jennie Linden plays Janet, a fragile young woman fearing for her sanity, in this enjoyable, and ever so preposterous, Hammer thriller. Janet doesn't want to become like her mother, you see, who ended up stabbing her father to death, but while convalescing at home it starts to feel as if her mind is breaking and she's heading down the same path. Is she really having strange visions (involving a strange, scarred woman most of the time) and descending into madness, or is there some foul play involved?

If you've seen any other Hammer thriller from this era then you'll already know how this one plays out. That doesn't take away from the fun of it, but there's nothing new here, especially for those who have seen Fear In The Night or Taste Of Fear.

Linden does fine in her role, all nerves and vulnerability, while David Knight puts in a very enjoyable performance as Henry Baxter, the man in her life. Moira Redmond is fine in the role of Grace Maddox, and Brenda Bruce, George A. Cooper, Irene Richmond and John Welsh all do fine in their roles. Timothy Bateson, as a barman who reveals a bit too much information, is also good to watch.

The script by Jimmy Sangster doesn't really hold up to too much scrutiny, but it's full of individual enjoyable moments, and the direction from Freddie Francis is perfectly fine for the material. It's a slight film, and I'd recommend watching the two already mentioned before getting to this one, but it's worth at least watching once.

An easy one to forget about amongst so many other Hammer movies that don't sit in the top tier, I'd still recommend this to fans of the studio, and fans of flimsy thrillers, but it should never be a top priority.


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