The Blood on Halloween Horror Fest

Carrie (1976)

Poor Carrie White.  In high school she’s the butt of everyone’s jokes, the outcast, the loser.  At home, this shy and retiring girl is bullied by her religious mother.  And yet Carrie has extraordinary abilities.  Uncanny powers of the mind that will be unleashed, with all the pent up fury she can muster, when a trip to the end of year school prom leaves her the victim of another prank… carrie

Carrie is a total classic.  I watched it again for the umpteenth time and was still heart broken by Sissy Spacek’s performance as the title character.  The film manages to portray the real life awkwardness and isolation of teenage life, as well as the horror that is she creates.  Add a dose of seventies nostalgia and you’ve got one hell of a movie.

Brian de Palma condenses the narrative into an easy to follow, yet still coherent whole.  It’s shot superbly, with the school prom devastation effectively recreated on screen.  And if you like the movie, make sure you read the original Stephen King novel on which it was based!

9/10

The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)

This early seventies British movie – from Tigon, not Hammer – is a strange creation, but disturbing never the less.  Set in a rural 17th century locale, it’s somewhere between Witchfinder General and The Wicker Man, with a folk/Gothic feel. bloodosc

The plot is hard to describe, but generally encompasses the discovery in a ploughed field of a strange claw, ripe with evil.  Events lead on to a group of devil worshipping teenagers, causing murder and havoc in the countryside.  The film is disjointed and hard to follow at first, but is able to create some real feelings of dread.

The general feeling of unease builds, with a bizarre yet chilling atmosphere developing.  However there are some scenes that are quite harrowing to watch, so be warned.

Regarded as a master piece of British horror, The Blood on Satan’s Claw is worth watching if you’re a fan of this type of film (see the examples mentioned above).  Despite my misgivings about some of the nastier scenes, it’s certainly effective in creating a sense of evil in an innocent, remote place.

7/10

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