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Cruel, dark, but undeniably effective, Diabolique is a suspense thriller as effective as Hitchcock's best work and with a brilliant twist ending.
All Critics (42)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (40)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (3)
Superbly acted, Les diaboliques is as effective a thriller as Hitchcock's film, if lacking the depth and resonance.
Satisfying, elegant and nasty.
Although this has a few hallucinating bits of terror, the film is primarily a creaky-door type of melodrama.
Cruel, sour, and -- unfortunately -- very effective.
A great piece of Guignol misanthropy.
This is one of the dandiest mystery dramas that has shown here in goodness knows when.
Straight-up terrifying melodrama.
Diabolique is as precise and accomplished as anything in Hitchcock's canon, a film of grueling suspense and startling shocks in an overcast, gray world of decay...
Part-noir, part-neo-Gothic horror, Diabolique is that most delicious breed of suspense thriller, beginning innocently enough, but soon peeling back layer after layer of corruption, scheming and transgression.
Rarely if ever has such a wallow in the sickeningly macabre been passed for distribution in this country.
... widely regarded as one of the most terrifying films of all time.
Like the greater of Hitchcock's essential films, the movie is a skillful marriage of ingredients that tread dangerously close to the edge of reasoning while still absorbing them in impeccable artistic standards.
A great thriller built on an intriguing mystery and with a very unexpected ending, but I imagine how much more tense and engaging it would have been in Hitchcock's hands, as it feels a tad dry with its lack of score and doesn't create the sort of impact that it naturally should.
Diabolique is a milestone in horror filmmaking and a wonderful look back at a time when filmmakers used suspense to frighten audiences, not cheap "boo" scares. Smartly made, chilling, and its ending is truly disturbing.
This film (almost) has it all: it's a suspense thriller, a mystery, a domestic (melo)drama, and even a bit of a horror film. It's widely regarded as a classic, and its influence is undeniable.
I really, really liked, but didn't quite love this film. I thought I would love it, but, alas, I did not. I mostly think it's because I wasn't totally surprised by this film, and it didn't feel totally fresh. Had I seen this when it came out (or had it been the first film I ever saw), I'd probably be singing a slightly more praising tune.
This film is still quite excellent though, and the twists are really cool. It's like a Hitchcock film, which is definite high praise. Hell, this seems like something he should have done. I guess Clouzot just beat him to the punch.
Besides a twisty and well crafted plot, there's a wonderful atmosphere at hand. The film looks gorgeous in black and white, and it adds to the spooky, odd tone of things. The direction is very sharp and lets everything unfold in a deliberate way. I really liked the performances, especially Simone Signoret's. She's fantastic.
Definitely check this one out. I was slightly underwhelmed, hence why it doesn't have a full 5 like I thought I might give it. It's still a very amazing film though that is incredibly well done and great at holding one's attention.
An absolutely stunning cinematic achievement. Clouzot not only unfolds a great mystery before our eyes, but for being over 55 years old it is still more terrifying than anything that the recent spat of modern horror directors could serve up. The story isn't convoluted and there is a constricted atmosphere that permeates the entire two hours. The camera remarkably serves as the omniscient observer, delightfully teasing the horrors to come. The music isn't leading nor is the editing flashy. Clouzot just makes us wade in the horror and it is riveting. Throw away your Hostel collection and your Nightmare on Elm Street reissues, this is this only thriller you need on your shelf.
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