Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Pit and the Pendulum</strong> (1961)

(On Cable TV, November 2018) I wasn’t expecting much from Pit and the Pendulum: horror movies of the early 1960s can be undistinguishable from one another, especially given how many of them were made with small budgets and indifferent actors. But from the first few minutes, there’s something remarkable about the film’s use of colour (in an early-sixties horror film!), its confidence in using a flashback structure and, of course, in Vincent Price’s performance. Director/Producer Roger Corman became a legend for a reason, and Pit and the Pendulum remains surprisingly effective. Great sets help, as does the unusually stylish flashback cinematography. The titular pendulum and pit set is also quite good. This being said, my favourite moment in the film is the stinger at the very end, which takes barely a second to remind us that something horrible is still happening to one of the antagonists—and will keep happening for a while. It’s an amazingly good jump-conclusion to a decent horror film.

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