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I Walked With a Zombie (1943)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 2

Evocative direction by Jacques Tourneur collides with the low-rent production values of exploitateer Val Lewton in I Walked with a Zombie, a sultry sleeper that's simultaneously smarmy, eloquent and fascinating.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2

Evocative direction by Jacques Tourneur collides with the low-rent production values of exploitateer Val Lewton in I Walked with a Zombie, a sultry sleeper that's simultaneously smarmy, eloquent and fascinating.

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 4,832

My Rating

Movie Info

RKO producer Val Lewton seemed to thrive upon taking the most lurid film titles and coming up with pocket-edition works of art. Saddled with the studio-dictated title I Walked With a Zombie, Lewton, together with scripters Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray, concocted a West Indies variation on Jane Eyre. Trained nurse (Frances Dee) travels to the tropics to care for Christine Gordon, the wife of seemingly abusive Tom Conway. At first, Dee merely believes her patient to be comatose. But as the drums

PG,

Drama, Horror, Romance

Curt Siodmak, Ardell Wray

Oct 4, 2005

Warner Home Video

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Cast

Latest News on I Walked With a Zombie

March 16, 2009:
Adam Marcus Set for I Walked with a Zombie Remake
RKO has attached "Jason Goes to Hell" director Adam Marcus to helm its remake of the 1943 Val Lewton...

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (2) | DVD (5)

Overcrowded with trite dialog and ponderous acting.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It transcends the conventions of the horror genre and remains one of Lewton-Tourneur's most compelling studies in light and darkness.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dull, disgusting exaggeration of an unhealthy, abnormal concept of life.

August 8, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is Tourneur's caressingly evocative direction, superbly backed by Roy Hunt's chiaroscuro images, that makes sheer magic of the film's brooding journey into fear.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The lighting, shadows, exotic setting and music all contribute to the immensely disturbing atmosphere, making this stunning piece of poetic horror a classic of the genre.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Between Halperin's White Zombie and Mizoguchi's Ugetsu lies Jacques Tourneur's masterpiece

May 12, 2013 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Instead of true horror, what the film has to offer is atmosphere by the bucketful.

October 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

I Walked with a Zombie is a horror film for grownups, which presents a complex picture of human relations and offers multiple explanations for events portrayed without definitively endorsing any of them.

October 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Sultry, claustrophobic, the guilt repressed here is the spectre of slavery stencilled over another abandonment of another wife...

October 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

One-ups Cat People with its stylish visual scheme and West Indies voodoo rhythms.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

I Walked with a Zombie is a horror film for grownups, which presents a complex picture of human relations and offers multiple explanations for events portrayed

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

This is a film that wants to ellicit not screams but shivers as it takes you on its journey into the heart of human darkness ...

July 4, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter
ESplatter

A miniature masterpiece of contorted human emotions and uneasy personal broodings emphasized by a gothic melange of sight and sound.

October 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

It uses Caribbean folklore and weird religious imagery to spice up a romantic tangle that pays off.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Visually magnificent, eerie tale.

August 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Classic, atmospheric Tourneur zombie tale

October 19, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

A genuinely creepy horror movie whose reputation has grown over the years.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's a film that works by creating a chilling atmosphere.

May 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A great example of the Lewton style, which emphasized foreboding and dread over viewed horror. Atmosphere is created through shadows, sounds, and dialogue.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

An unqualified horror masterpiece.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for I Walked With a Zombie

I Walked With a Zombie is full of beautiful photography, fantastic set design and stunning direction from Jacques Tourneur. The acting's pretty much what you'd expect from a low-budget 40s horror movie but there's so much more going on that makes up for it. The scene on the way up to the homefourt was fantastic as was the scene that introduced Jessica. Legitimately scary shit. The story kind of scatters a bit by the time you get to the end and a few things were kind of unclear to me but at that point you don't really care. This movie is a moodfest orgy for the eyes.
March 10, 2010
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

Ripe with that subtle eerieness that Lewton and Tourneur have become known for. I like this one a little more every time I see it. It's the kind of film that creeps up on you.
January 31, 2010
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Another sensationalist title to draw in the crowds which it really didn't need to do as this is a fantastic thriller and by then Lewton & Tourneur were quite respected. I feel the title puts a lot of people off which is a shame because this is a classic!
October 1, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

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  • I Walked With a Zombie (1943) (UK)
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