31 in 31: The Night of the Hunter

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Story: Love on one hand. Hate on the other. A guy trying to find a hidden bank robbery stash. And the two little kids that don’t buy the guy’s holy roller BS.

Scares: Several creepy moments. And the scariest canoe ride ever. Yes, I’ve seen Deliverance.

Splat factor: Not really an issue. This film came out in 1955, so yeah. And also? Black and white. So even with the murder of a character by knife? It’s very low key.

Closing scene “shocker”: Not at all. I won’t say this movie is the feel good film of ’55, but there’s no stupid gotcha either. This atmospheric classic don’t need no stinking twists.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul): A movie version of the book by Davis Grubb. Same title, but now the pictures in your head are now on screen. Magic!

Trick or Treat?: Night of the Hunter is a chilling, atmospheric wonderland of Terror, with camera angles and cinematography that reminds me of the work in early B&W classics like Nosferatu and Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

What really blows me away in this film isn’t Robert Mitchum’s performance as the creepiest con man preacher ever, though he is riveting. It’s Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce as the young children that figure out that Mitchum’s shady Reverend Harry Powell is up to no good…and who have to go on the run to avoid ending up as another one of his statistics.

Plus, it’s always cool to check out just how Jake and Ellwood Blues got the idea for their tattoos….

Score: 5 out of 5 pumpkins.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
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