Les Diaboliques (1955)
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, Les Diaboliques is story of two teachers at a private in France who share a common bond: the school’s tyrannical headmaster. Married to one and making a mistress of the other, he abuses the poor women until they finally decide to be rid of him. Drowning him and disposing of the body, it is understandable the women become somewhat unnerved to hear that he’s been seen walking around town. With a private detective hot on their tail, the duo’s fragile allegiance begins to crack.
Les Diaboliques is as near perfect a movie as you will ever get. Clouzot’s direction is taut and he piles on the tension till it becomes unbearable. The performances by Vera Clouzot and Simone Signoret are impeccable. The finale is one of cinema’s all-time greatest and lingers long in the memory. It will also give you an irrational fear of your bathroom for weeks. Buy it, treasure it, and never let it leave your side.
See No Evil (2006)
A group of ne’er do well twentysomething teenage delinquents are roped in to help renovate a run hotel. Unbeknownst to them, its ensuite rooms are stalked by a giant of a serial killer, played by WWE’s Kane, with a penchant for poking out eyeballs. See No Evil is not subtle, nor very original. In terms of today’s social media, it is the BuzzFeed list of horror tropes. Things happen, followed by more things. Some of these things involve screaming. Then, thankfully, it ends.
See No Evil 2 comes out later this year under the helm of the Soska Sisters, aka the Twisted Twins. Having wowed many with their last feature, American Mary, it’ll be interesting to see what they do. Because on its on merits, See No Evil doesn’t seem to warrant a sequel.
Black Roses (1988)
Small town America is about to get its ass kicked by Black Roses, a heavy metal band ready to tear it a new one. Well, all the band members are actually demons in disguise, so it’s the least you can ask of them really. Directed by John Fasano, this is B-movie 101. Kids are becoming corrupted, the mayor refuses to believe there’s a problem and only a teacher and his fabulous knitwear can stop them.
It’s loud, it’s brash and a wayward boy’s father is eaten alive by a speaker. Death by stereo indeed. With plot holes you can drive a tour bus through, Black Roses is an incredible amount of fun. Poorly written fun, but fun nonetheless.