What to watch on Amazon Prime Video: a fabulous piece of haunted house horror


 Today is one of those days where you want to recover a cult horror gem from the classic era. Because there are many valuable genre films prior to 1978, and because it never hurts to expose yourself to other cinematographic languages ​​and other styles that may have unexpected influences on the present.

In today's case, the jewel to recover is 'Devilish Nightmare', a modest film by Dan Curtis with a very low budget that was not very successful at the time, neither commercially nor critically. But it was having an impact in specific circles, and even ended up having its influence in films like 'The Shining', by Stanley Kubrick.

Time has given it more love until it has become the estimable cult work that it is today. A fabulous supernatural piece from the haunted house aspect that we can recover through Prime Video (it can also be found through Filmin).

Before Curtis was approached for this project, the one originally titled 'Burnt Offerings' (better title, no doubt) was a script by Robert Marasco that was in the orbit of Bob Fosse, at that time interested in directing something that was not a musical. A dark horror story sounded appealing, but it didn't materialize, so Marasco took advantage of it to make a novel of the same name.

When the novel was considered for adaptation, he negotiated with Dan Curtis, who at the time had been noted for his television experience, including the family horror series 'Dark Shadows'. Despite the reluctance, he shaped this nightmare with a family at the center, but not very suitable given its macabre and even morbid nature.

The film follows a married couple and their 12-year-old son, who move into a giant house for the summer. Things start to get weird almost immediately. It seems that every time someone gets hurt on the lot, the battered house seems to repair itself. Soon they will see that they are authentic supernatural phenomena and that their lives are in danger.

Curtis shoots the film with a fabulous exquisiteness typical of the time, resorting to various resources learned in his television stage but also creating very cinematic atmospheres. With a solid cast that includes the likes of Karen Black, Bette Davis and Oliver Reed, he creates several nightmarish sequences with very realistic roots, without foregoing a touch of highly entertaining grand guignol.

Scenes like the one in the pool show great technical expertise that overcomes budget constraints, creating a perfect nightmarish sequence that endures over time. Its well-measured sophistication and well-executed scenes like that have helped solidify its cult status among fans of genre film, and it's worth rescuing now before someone gets the idea to do a ten-episode remake of she.

Share What to see on Amazon Prime Video: a fabulous piece of horror of haunted houses, as devilish as it is suggestive, which was copied by Stanley Kubrick









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