Scripted by Tom Tryon from his own novel, Mulligan's supernatural foray into the troubled world of childhood mercifully avoids the gory excesses of superficially similar films like The Exorcist, made the following year. It might have been mere mumbo-jumbo: his already fertile imagination further stimulated by the promptings of a wise old Russian-born grandmother (Hagen), who teaches him how to empathise totally with other creatures (human and animal), a young boy refuses to believe in the death of his twin brother, whom he blames for a series of mysterious killings. If the level of suspense is lowered by the fact that we soon realise who is responsible, Mulligan none the less produces a genuinely unsettling atmosphere, undermining the idyllic veneer of his '30s pastoral setting by refusing to romanticise his characters and stressing the claustrophobic elements of living in a close-knit community. As so often with this director's work, the film is craftsmanlike rather than brilliant, but the performances, Robert Surtees' lush camerawork, and Mulligan's solid psychological insights make for thoughtful, sometimes even chilling, entertainment.
Theatrical Release: May 23rd, 1972
DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 8.46 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUBs: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
Pristine image on this Fox DVD. Colors are very bright and detail is crystal clear. One of the better transfers of the year to date. It looks exceptionally good.
No extras but for a trailer for the film (and some other trailers).
Interesting and downright creepy film - certainly worth a viewing or two and the price is right - even for a bare bones effort. Recommended!