Dead of Night - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead of Night Reviews

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October 14, 2012
An anthology of scary stories with a great "twist" ending. This British production tells tales from funny, to bizzare, to down right creepy (the ventriloquist dummy anyone?). But they are not just seperate stories. Everything is connected and that's why it works.

Grade: A-
October 10, 2012
4 classic eerie supernatural thriller.
½ August 11, 2012
In my humble opinion, the mirror segment was the most spooky.
July 26, 2012
Cracking bit of classic horror!
May 17, 2012
The kind of horror movie you don't see anymore.

Thanks to every director's own view, every episode has a special look and feel that contribute to making this feature an all-time classic.
April 23, 2012
They don't make em like they used to. Classic British anthology, with one of the creepiest segments I've seen, about a ventriloquist dummy (possibly the original ventriloquist horror story?)
April 22, 2012
Bloomin' creepy and often amusing, this Ealing classic chiller is not to be missed!
April 18, 2012
An almost perfect anthology movie with a damn fine wrap-around.
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2012
A super-psycho-natural flick. For a 1945 flick, the scripting seems quite advanced. Not the best, but definitely worth a watch (and maybe even more entertaining if you can resist looking for plot-holes).
½ February 23, 2012
I cannot recall a single British horror film I've liked. I give up.
January 31, 2012
Re watch: chilling final story with Maxwell and Hugo.
December 23, 2011
Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, et al., 1945)

I've spent months studiously avoiding writing a Dead of Night review, because I'm at a loss what to say about it. I've never been a big fan of Ealing (compare Alexander MacKendrick's work when he was an Ealing guy to what he was able to produce in Hollywood-one of the very few examples of Hollywood importing a director and actually getting him to produce better work than he did overseas), but I'd heard enough about Dead of Night over the past thirty-odd years that I figured I needed to give it a try. To my surprise, it wasn't half bad, and thus my confusion.

Dead of Night, an anthology film, was trotted out in order to show off the talents of four of Ealing's rising directorial stars: Cavalcanti (Went the Day Well?), Robert Hamer (Kind Hearts and Coronets), Charles Crichton (A Fish Called Wanda), and Basil Dearden (Victim). The four of them film six stories, all told (including the linking narrative, about a guy whose recurring dream seems as if it's coming true, which incites the other guests to tell the movie's tales), from writers like H. G. Wells and E. F. Benson (all uncredited, natch).

The linking narrative involves an architect (The Day of the Triffids' Mervyn Johns) who goes off to a country house, where despite a distressing sense of deja vu, he is encouraged to stay by the guests, who alternately encourage him to fight against feeling as if he's bound by the rules of a dream he had just like this and tell tales of their own supernatural experiences.

None of these things are overly scary, especially these days, and you've seen most of them done better (a few were reprised quite well in Twilight Zone episodes, for example), but it's a well-made film, and an extremely stylistically coherent one for being the work of four directors; the only other anthology film I can think of that has this much stylistic integrity despite being the work of multiple directors is 2005's Rampo Noir. These days it's more worth seeing for the quality of acting and direction than it is for any stray scares that may come along, but of all the Ealing movies I've seen, this is the best. ***
November 16, 2011
The puppet story line is what got this movie 4 stars up in till then I was not that interested in what was happening and then it grabbed my attention till the end.
½ November 8, 2011
A very effective horror anthology from Ealing studios. It's devlishly clever in the way it merges the five stories to the narrative device, which is a group of people in a country house who are joined by Mervyn John's character who seems to have had prior knowledge of them, however he has never in fact met them.

This is used as a device to prompt each member of the party to tell a story, each with a supernatural element which might explain the circumstances at the party. My personal favourites are the mirror story and of course the ventriloquists dummy.

Dead of Night is spooky and mysterious as well as being a very intelligent film which isn't without the odd light-hearted moment.
November 4, 2011
a great horror classic. multiple stories by multiple directors. superstition and strange occurances versus psychoanalysis and reason. there is not a single dull moment in it. a good example of smart dialogue never getting old. we come full circle :)
½ October 30, 2011
The orignal portmanteau horror from Ealing. Michael Redgrave's ventriloquist story and Googie Withers' Haunted Mirror are the tyop two stories but the whole thing excells.
½ September 12, 2011
Except for an awkward and strangely whimsical tale (1 of the 5), "Dead of Night" is one of the most chillingly effective horror films I have ever seen. It won't make you scream, but it will give you goosebumps like you rarely experience in the genre today. And the "comedy" horror segment works quite well, it's just out of place with the rest of the film. Otherwise, check it out.
½ September 12, 2011
Each of the stories are chilling and marvelously well-done, but the main story that holds the others together is the best.
September 5, 2011
The grandaddy of horror portmanteau films and an all time classic. The golf story tends to weaken the films suspense, but the other stories are superb, as is the framing story. A must see classic of the genre!
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