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This review is from: Robin Redbreast (DVD) (DVD)
This very well acted, designed and directed precursor to such movies as The Wicker Man is dated admittedly but still quite effective. The sense of rural mystery and tradition is well evoked by a strong cast in a convincing and chilling way. The small details which are very authentic for city dwellers who move to the country - the insects and vermin which come into ones home - the darkness of the night sky - the strange "unaccountable" sounds are all very effectively evoked by the writer who used his own direct experience of such things in developing the script. Yes, its his own home they used, the interior set was a reproduction of the actual interior and he did see a naked man practicing karate in the woods! Despite the fact the colour original is now missing, the black and white source material from which this BFI copy originates, is very good until the last section of the "film" where deterioration is sadly evident but it still does not spoil ones enjoyment of this macabre and strangely memorable story. Don't read the programme notes, or see the extras, until you have seen the 70 minute film itself, as it will take away much of the suspense. Although this is not a programme for everyone and particularly young people brought up on much more horrendous and fast-moving material - it is good that the BFI and other distributors are making available these gems from the archive for those of us with fond memories of such impressive programmes as this The Stone Tape, The Exorcism, the M.R.James adaptations etc etc - which we enjoyed so much in the past and which remain remarkably effective even today. Oh and the director did have a problem getting the reference to a "dutch cap" through the bosses at the BBC. My word how times have change! Such things are almost compulsory now....