Paranoiac

Weekly Alibi

DIRECTED BY: Freddie Francis

REVIEWED: 04-09-97

I saw this movie when I was a pup, and it scared the living hell out of me. For years afterward, whenever I'd ask people about it, they'd just shrug. I was starting to think I'd imagined the whole thing when the flick finally popped up on video, and even as I was watching it again, I felt like maybe I'd been thinking of something else. Then the scene that scared me so bad all those years ago came along and made me squeal all over again. Our pals at Hammer Films made this one in the wake of Psycho, and I gotta tell ya, I almost like this one better than Hitchcock's masterpiece. Oliver Reed plays a hard-drinking (imagine that!) society boy who stands to inherit a large sum of money. His sister (Janette Scott) seems to be wigging out after the death of their parents, and Ollie may or may not be prodding at her little mental difficulties in order to get her share of the dough. Things get freaky for the siblings when their long-lost (and presumed dead) brother shows up. As the plot twists and turns toward its funky conclusion, that goddamn scene rears its bowel-loosening little head and you can kiss your pleasant dreams goodbye. Directed by Hammer stalwart Freddie Francis and written by Jimmy (Horror of Dracula) Sangster, Paranoiac is one of the coolest thrillers I've ever seen and well worth renting. I would have sworn it was in color, but maybe that was just the nightmares I had after seeing it. (MCA)

--Scott Phillips

Other Films by Freddie Francis
Tales From the Crypt

Film Vault Suggested Links
Nosferatu
Child's Play
Maniac

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