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3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 31 October 2009
Although made by Hammer, Fear In The Night (1972) is not a horror film, but is in fact a suspense thriller.

It was produced, directed and co-written by Hammer legend Jimmy Sangster.

At the centre of the story is 22 year old Londoner Peggy (Judy Geeson) who is attacked by someone with an artificial arm on the evening before she moves to the private boys school where her new husband Robert (Ralph Bates) teaches. Her landlady and doctor are sceptical when she informs them of her ordeal, mainly because they know she is recovering from a nervous breakdown. The following day she arrives at the idyllic rural boarding school. As she takes a stroll around the premises she hears the voices of children, even though all the pupils are on holiday. Is Peggy's mind playing tricks on her? Then she meets the Headmaster (Peter Cushing) who's a bit creepy and has a moustache and an artificial arm. Later that same day someone with an artificial arm attacks her again. She informs Robert, but he doesn't believe her, "I believe you think you were attacked". Peggy eventually puts two and two together and shoots the Headmaster. But, of course, there's a twist to the plot...

Besides from the gripping story, what really makes this film worth watching are the performances from the four main actors. Peter Cushing, as always, is on top form. What a pleasure it is watching this master at work. Amazingly, he only worked on this film for four days! Judy Geeson is well cast as the vulnerable young woman who is forced to question her own sanity in what must have been quite a demanding role. Joan Collins is perfect as seductive sculptress Molly. Joan is one of the all-time greats at playing bitches. She doesn't make her entrance until almost halfway through the film and the first thing she does is blast the guts out of a cute little rabbit with a shotgun! Ralph Bates is also very good, and was becoming a bit of a Hammer regular by this time. Incidentally, Ralph and Joan would both go on to star in the much underrated I Don't Want To Be Born (1975).

On the DVD itself, there are no faults with the picture or the sound. It is presented in full screen. There are no subtitles available. As for extras, there is a commentary by Sangster himself and a trailer.

Fear In The Night is not top drawer Hammer, but is well worth checking out. If you like this film then may I recommend getting hold of a copy of Hammer's Taste Of Fear (1961), which was written by Jimmy Sangster, and is also about a young woman tricked into believing she is losing her mind.
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on 4 October 2014
A bit tame to todays eyes, but still worth watching.
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on 23 February 2012
Fear in the night is an excellent movie, but sadly one of Hammers last. The film features two Hammer regulars, Ralph Bates(Dear John) and Peter Cushing(Brides of Dracula,Star wars). The movie has a slow build up but once it gets going there's alot to appreciate and enjoy. Joan Collins is also very impressive in her role in one of her best performances. Judy Geeson is the main star, playing a woman recovering from a nervous breakdown, now newly married and being attacked by what would seem to be a one armed man(and that's just the beginning).
I also wonder if this film was an influence on Stephen Kings The Shining as there are similarities. I can't say too many of them here because I don't want to give too much away, but the deserted location, the sounds of people that used to be there, a married couple(nervous wife, suspicious Husband), a door being smashed in, and many other similarities. The plots are quite different but there are alot of things connecting the two tales.
If you're a horror or thriller fan then you should enjoy Fear in the Night.
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on 9 January 2015
With a great cast and a good premise, this thriller somehow feels like it should have been far more satisfying than it was. Having married quickly after suffering a nervous breakdown Peggy finds herself repeatedly attacked by a hidden assailant. She experiences strange phenomena like hearing children's voices coming from an empty room. Is something sinister afoot or is she just mentally unstable? Protagonist Peggy is very much in the mould of the melodramatic female of the age, and her character monopolises most of the screen time. Peter Cushing, so classy and expert at rescuing even the direst movie is under utilised here so that his minimal scenes are not enough to balance out her hysterics. The setting of an old school and the cast is very good, but somehow the way in which the film is put together falls just short of a really good watch . A commendable effort but ultimately not one to stand up to repeated viewings.
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on 17 March 2010
One of my favourite Hammer films - low budget (apart from the stellar cast) but a cunning Hitchcockian script makes up for that. A gripping slow burn horror film with a great early 1970s period atmosphere.
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on 9 April 2009
This is a good standard English terror film of the 60s' It has several suprises and reminds me of what great terror films we used to make those days. The scenes are what all expect England to be: a well done film for all Hammer fans should see.
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on 29 April 2011
Judy Geeson, recovering from a nervous breakdown, marries private school teacher Ralph Bates and moves into his cottage on the school grounds. Prior to the move Judy is attacked. Was she really attacked or was it in her imagination? More attacks happen on the school grounds after she meets gentlemanly Headmaster Peter Cushing and his bitchy wife Joan Collins.

A great little psycoholical thriller from director Jimmy Sangster with lots of twists and turns. Hammer fans will love the fact Peter Cushing stars in a rare modern day Hammer film and his performance is as ever superbly understated, making the film in my opinion. It's also great to see a pre-Dynasty Joan Collins playing a very Alexisesque character to perfection.

One star dropped because I detest Ralph Bates' smugness.
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on 20 March 2014
A some what different role for Peter Cushing, everybody's favourite British horror star. Another film from the Hammer horror stable
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on 17 September 2012
i didn't really understand what was meant to be going on throughout this hammer film most of the time. i thought the concept of this film mildly diverting but it's a shame that the narrative was a weak one.
the storyline wasn't all that clear and because of that, i found it hard to concentrate.
the main reason i watched "fear in the night" was to see peter cushing again. as always, his performance was marvellous, although his screentime was limited to just a few scenes.
this also a rather low key affair, with just four main actors carrying the plot.
i didn't detect much in the way of thrills either, just a routinely made production from a studio whose glory days were well behind them.
the best bits for me, were when peter cushing takes judy geeson on a guided tour around the deserted school. for a few brief moments, there seemed a sense of tension in the air.
the picture and sound quality were both very good.
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on 2 September 2013
Despite good acting all round this is a very pedestrian attempt to ape those many 'new wife/scary house/no one believes me! Of course we do darling, now you get some rest' thrillers that had gone before. There are efforts at suspense but they are crudely handled by the director Sangster, and the plot provides neither the intended surprise ending nor much fun along the way. The shoestring budget is so obvious that one cannot help thinking that the empty classrooms, far from being sinister, were simply a good way to avoid expensive set dressing and the marshalling of extras. Good DVD commentary though.
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