Trifecta of Horror: Insidious (2010), The Nanny (1965) and The Bat (1959)

Insidious (2010)

A family is plunged into tragedy when their son falls into a mysterious coma and they become plagued by paranormal events. Directed by James Wen, who later gave us the terrifically atmospheric The Conjuring, Insidious starts off promisingly, before transforming into a party bag of shocks and jolts. And like a party bag, it’s delicious in small bites but becomes overbearing in one go. It’s also hard to shake the idea that the third act is eerily like the dream world of Drop Dead Fred.

The Nanny (1965)

The Nanny is the least Hammer Horror film Hammer has ever produced. Bette Davis comes out swinging as devoted family nanny looking after a young boy recently returned from a home for the disturbed, who accuses her of trying to kill him. Director Seth Holt cranks up the tension and as ward versus nanny in a battle of wits, the real question is who is telling the truth. Skillfully shot with a lean script, The Nanny demands a spot on anyone’s DVD shelf.

The Bat (1959)

One of the joyous things about Crane Wilbur’s The Bat is the abundance of expositionary dialogue. Practically everyone talks to each other like they’ve never met before. ‘Hello, Donald. You remember my wife. We met two years ago and were married at Christmas. It was a lovely affair. Well, I must be going now.’

The other joyous element is the brilliant Vincent Price, playing Dr Malcolm Wells; an expert on the habits of bats who may also be the creature terrorising small town America known only as the Bat! Spoiler alert – He’s not. But we have a wonderful time watching him play red herring for 80 minutes. Criminally, they don’t make them like Vinnie anymore.

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