20 November 2019 | richardchatten
"I'm Not Mad! I'm Not Mad!!"
The "roman de la victime" ("victim novel") pioneered by the writing team of Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac - lovingly detailing the cruel gaslighting by others of a vulnerable victim - after providing the raw material for 'Les Diaboliques' and 'Vertigo' inspired many imitations during the early sixties, particularly by Hammer Films; although 'Faces in the Dark' is one of the few direct adaptations of their work. Had this been adapted for Hammer by Jimmy Sangster (who had been regularly providing them with 'psychological' scripts commencing with 'The Snorkel' in 1958) the result would probably have been much scarier.
Like most black & white features of the early 60's it looks good. But despite the occasionally gothic lighting, strange camera angles, the menacing presence of Mai Zetterling (who always looks guilty of something) and a cool title sequence aided by an eerie ondes Martenot score by Mikis Theodorakis it becomes very plodding and garrulous (although the ending is satisfactorily grim).
A similar subject concerning a blind patriarch made a much better film a few years earlier called 'Silent Dust' (1949). Catch that if you get the chance.