Dead of Night

Nashville Scene

DIRECTED BY: Charles Crichton

REVIEWED: 11-03-97

The five set pieces in this classic British horror anthology still echo throughout today's pop culture--in cable creep shows and in Simpsons Halloween specials, not to mention in the odd feature film. Nevertheless, the original remains fresh, thanks to the able direction (by Charles Crichton and Alberto Cavalcanti, among others), the source material (by the likes of H.G. Wells), and one virtuoso performance by Michael Redgrave, as a ventriloquist who has begun throwing more than his voice into his maniacally grinning dummy. The other ghost stories--especially those involving a mirror that reflects the past, and the man whose nightmares are coming true--are almost as chilling; but it's the puppet show that still spooks, no matter how many times it's been ripped off.

--Noel Murray

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