5 November 1999 | MooCowMo
Twisted Plot About a Twisted Family...
Subtle, beautifully-shot early Hammer chiller about revenge from beyond the grave - or is it? Starring a very young Oliver Reed("The Three Musketeers", "The Brood"), who plays Simon Ashby, a bad egg in a dreadfully upper-crusty family living on a posh estate in a tiny, isolated cowmunity. Simon and his unstable sister Eleanor, played by Janette Scott("Day of the Triffids"), believe their long-lost brother Tony, who apparently threw himself off a cliff 8 years earlier, has returned from his watery grave. Tony, played by Alexander Davion("Valley of the Dolls"), may not be who he claims to be, and half a million pounds inheritance is at stake. This is a subtle, quiet thriller, very much unlike the later, gorier Hammer horror classics. Overall, the cast delivers good performances, especially Scott, but Reed always seems to be on the verge of careering out of control, in that plucky, "William Shatner-esque" way of overacting he posesses. A little dull for some tastes, "Paranoiac" nevertheless is a good film to watch if only to enjoy the lovely black & white cinematography, and to enjoy the plot's many twists. Director Freddie Francis went on to direct such Hammer classics as "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors", and "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave". The MooCow says this slight Hammer classic is worth a cheapie rent, so check it out soon! ;=8)