• R, 1 hr. 23 min.
  • Horror
  • Directed By:    Mario Bava
  • In Theaters:    Dec 31, 1960 Wide
  • On DVD:    Dec 14, 1999
  • American International Picture

La Maschera del demonio (Black Sunday) (House of Fright) (Mask of the Demon) Reviews

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
October 29, 2013

A tremendous start to what would end up being one of the most brilliant careers in all of horror.

Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Jennie Kermode
Eye for Film
August 19, 2013

Bava's sumptuous visuals remain, with the director innovative in his employment of multiple side lights to give scenes a luminous quality and make playful use of shadows.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Fernando F. Croce
April 8, 2013

Swirling chiaroscuro, viscous rhapsody

Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
September 26, 2012

Bava and his crew's employment of unique camera angles, heavily atmospheric sets and startling moments of violence combine to create a trendsetting picture that has influenced generations of filmmakers (including Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton).

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 19, 2009

Although Italian director Bava is somewhat overrated, this is his one undisputed masterpiece.

Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
February 5, 2008

One of the cinema's preeminent examples of gothic horror.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
April 12, 2007

Though shot in black-and-white, it demonstrates Bava's extraordinary skill with light and motion and shadow, used to suggest unholy things.

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
September 17, 2006

The most influential figure in Italian exploitation horror movies would never again match the success of this venture.

Full Review | Original Score: A
Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

The visual style still impresses, but the story beneath it has become too formularised for the film to retain all its original power.

Carol Cling
Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 12, 2004

| Original Score: 4/5
Nicolas Lacroix
January 29, 2004

| Original Score: 4/5
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
September 4, 2003

The gorgeous black-and-white imagery is so remarkable that it overrides the bad acting, barely coherent story and the awful dialogue.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

TV Guide's Movie Guide
July 30, 2003

Hypnotic and compelling.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Christopher Null
February 13, 2003

Mario Bava's first film is gorgiously photographed and often eerie, but it fails to scare much by today's standards.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Gerry Shamray
Your Movies (cleveland.com)
September 2, 2002

Visually stunning, black and white creeper.

| Original Score: 5/5
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
September 2, 2002

| Original Score: 3/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
February 6, 2008

...a melodramatic, thoroughly overwrought horror flick that's aged incredibly poorly in the years since its 1960 release.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Emanuel Levy
August 8, 2005

| Original Score: 2/5
Eugene Archer
New York Times
Top Critic
May 10, 2005

It will leave its audiences yearning for that quiet, sunny little motel in Psycho.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Christopher J. Jarmick
Senses of Cinema
March 26, 2003

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