Frenzy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frenzy Reviews

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November 1, 2014
I totally LOVE this film!! Delicious and intense. One of the greatest Hitchcock endings ever!!
½ September 22, 2014
Departing from any sort of decency in creating true tension and dread, Hitchcock takes advantage of the relaxed sensor codes and delivers nudity and sex like never before in his work. The movie as a plot of suspicion, murder, wrongful accusations, and creepy fear goes, is memorable. But the 70s were the start of a degradation of content in the way emotion was gift wrapped for the audience. Hitchcock, especially Hitchcock, never had to rely on R-rated graphic material to get across his message so it's very much unneeded here. Plus, this film doesn't say much that better innocent man thrillers have said in passing. Hitchcock's Marnie was for me a more complete and disturbing picture of evil with hope able to shine. Frenzy is just how it sounds. It is chaos, disgusting chaos internally and externally without a true purpose other than to string us along for the ride. I hold Hitch up to the highest standards of terrifying and enriching us at the same time and here he falls short of the mark. That being said, it is still very effective and probably will deliver some nightmarish imagery to hold onto despite your best efforts.
½ September 3, 2014
After the mixed bag of "Marnie" and the two mediocre Cold War thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock returns to form and directs a film that proved that even in his old age (his 70s), he was still the Master of Suspense in the 1970s. "Frenzy" marks Hitchcock's final return to filmmaking in his native country, and it is a fantastic thriller. A serial killer is on the loose in London, raping woman, strangling them with his necktie and then ditching their nude bodies. A Regular Joe gets accused of the crime after his ex-wife, and then his current girlfriend, is murdered by the killer (who as it turns out is the accused man's friend). It is a fine thriller with suspense throughout and a nice touch of that classic Hitchcock humor that make his films so memorable. It is also one of the most gruesome and explicit films that great director ever made. After years of insinuation, he decides to play along with the times and shows explicit violence and nudity, it makes the subject matter all the more shocking and frightening. Also, unlike "Marnie", the creep who rapes a woman isn't our hero, which is much more acceptable for me. "Frenzy" is an excellent movie, and I really got a kick out of it.
September 2, 2014
Hitchcock returns to the UK here with a man wrongfully accused as the 'Necktie Killer'; this after losing his job, missing a longshot horse and having to sleep at the Salvation Army--a very bad day. The Master shows he can still deliver into his 70s, with some effective humour on top of it all.
August 7, 2014
A partir da relação complicada que os homens sempre possuem com o sexo oposto - seja nos níveis domésticos, seja nos níveis psicopatas -, "Frenesi" constrói um romance policial britânico bastante envolvente, divertido e até mesmo provocador em sua narrativa, haja vista as brincadeiras feitas com as percepções, princípios e preconceitos dos próprios expectadores.
Dispondo do grande senso de humor negro do mestre Hitchcock, o filme igualmente se beneficia da sofisticada direção do cineasta, o qual, no final de sua carreira, ainda compunha passagens absolutamente irrequietas e poderosas - ora por sua explícita violência (como a cena do estrangulamento), ora por seu absoluto silêncio e tensão (ênfase para a grande tomada que se distancia progressivamente dos aposentos do assassino). Destaque, por fim, às finíssimas atuações de todo o elenco.
Em suma, talvez não seja o ápice da filmografia de Hitchcock, mas é sem dúvidas um suspense policial de muita classe.
½ July 10, 2014
In his next-to-last film Hitchcock returned to his roots, enlisting Anthony Shaffer to adapt Arthur La Bern's novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square into a screenplay, and cast actors unknown outside of Britain. The result of this experiment was easily his best film in years, one that still has yet to fully receive its due place in the Hitchcock filmography. Jon Finch is Richard Blaney, a wholly unsympathetic loser with a violent temper. When his ex-wife and current girlfriend are raped and strangled to death he becomes suspect number one in the recent spate of so-called Necktie Murders. In reality the murderer is Blaney's supposed friend, the slimy Bob Rusk (Barry Foster). Blaney is more interested in eluding authorities than in solving the mystery of the killings, and he seems more outraged at having been accused than saddened at having lost two women whom he allegedly cares for. In using these lesser-known actors Hitchcock found it easier to present us with a world in which no one is terribly sympathetic. The humor is jet-black and the violence is, for Hitchcock, quite strong, but where some reviewers lament this fact, for Hitchcock, who'd often complained of the strictures imposed by censorship, the more relaxed attitude toward the content of films was surely liberating. Frenzy may be the one film in which Hitchcock was able to do absolutely everything he wanted. While not quite at the top, it is a worthy companion to his greatest films (Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, Notorious, etc).
June 17, 2014
It's so interesting to think that this is Hitchcock's first ever R-rated film he has ever directed.

Before the film was released, film ratings were officially introduced, leaving Hitchcock responsible for an R-rated film instead of one that was just "Approved" for audiences. This allowed Hitchcock to introduce nudity into his film, which he did.

"Frenzy" takes place in London and is about a 30-something year old man, Blaney, who is said to be the infamous Necktie Murder. But he is innocent and his friend, Rusk, is actually the sadistic killer.

This film is racy, intense and a good watch.

Definitely watch if you're a film buff and enjoy Hitchcock films. You'll love to watch as to how Hitchcock got to make his first R-rated film.

Frenzy, I give you an 80%.
May 22, 2014
Another great film from the remarkably twisted mind of Mr. Hitchcock: the scenes with Mrs. Blaney and Rusk are absolutely was fun to see a British film, after many American pictures by Hitchcock. There is a certain, dry humor to Great Britain that is not as potent in the U.S, and it really comes out in this film. Very disturbing...and infuriating. Hitchcock shows, yet again, that psychopathy andd sociopathy are difficult to discern and can manifest themselves in the most unusual ways (see: head detective's wife...possibly the most misaligned person in the film)
May 8, 2014
This film is disappointing. The director Alfred Hitchcock has made a lot better movies than this one. Someone of the dialogue is dated and the characters are not very interesting. There are some suspenseful scenes but not enough to recommend this film.
May 8, 2014
"Frenzy" is considered by critics to be Hitchcock's last great film before his death. Here he delivers a film quite typical of his work-suspenseful, chilling, and often quite funny in a blackly humorous way. Every member of the all-British cast is extremely good, particularly Barbara Leigh-Hunt.
April 25, 2014
A good return to form for the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.
Since The Birds in 1963 Hitchcock's movies (Marnie, Torn Curtain and
Topaz) had not met with commercial success (though, personally, I think
Marnie was great).

Frenzy sees Hitchcock back to doing what he does best - suspenseful
murder dramas. Great, intriguing plot with the usual clever direction
from Hitchcock. Some of his camera angles and exterior shots are
straight from his own book of how imply something and create tension
without saying a word, or using manipulative music.

The movie also has some great comedic moments. The Chief Inspector and
his wife having dinner were always hilarious.

Much more edgy in terms of nudity and sex than any previous Hitchcock
movies. This could be ascribed to censorship restrictions being
relaxed. Also tells you what Hitchcock could have done with is movies
if all the stupid, puritanical censorship wasn't there all along.

Not as tightly wound as his greats (Rear Window and Psycho especially),
so not perfect as far as suspense and enthrallment goes.

Good performance by Jon Finch in the lead role. Good support from Alec
McCowen, Barry Foster, Anna Massey and Barbara Leigh-Hunt.

Sadly, this was to be Hitchcock's penultimate movie. His final movie,
Family Plot was released four years later, in 1976. He died in 1980.
March 30, 2014
I like it, but it is a bit predictable, which is unusual for Hitchcock.
½ March 9, 2014
Down grading to woman. Alfred's losing the plot
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ March 6, 2014
Well, Hollywood, I hope that you had bid a fond farewell to Alfred Hitchcock, because with this film, he made his big comeback to British cinema for the first time since 1950. Granted, it's been much longer since this film's release, and we shouldn't be expecting a Hitchcock film in any country any time soon, so I'd imagine we're well used to the magnitude of the event, but hey, it's interesting to see how long Hitchcock waited before coming home, which is why he was the Master of Suspense. Well, I don't know about you guys, but nothing about this title, alone, sounds as though it pertains to suspense, because there's not much subtlety to a frenzy. Really, say what you will about the importance of Hitchcock's Hollywood projects in the '50s and '60s and what have you, but as "Vertigo", "Psycho", "The Birds" and, so help me, "Rope" told us, he was low on creative title ideas for quite some time. Hey, maybe Hitchcock was trying to tell us something with this particular title, for he knew that his time was coming, thus, he decided to throw away all of that suspenseful nonsense and really get crazy, like a frenzy. Oh, how I wish this film really was that exciting, but alas, you must remember that it is a British "thriller", and therefore pretty dry. No, the film is plenty slick, but it's not as much fun as its title might promise, for a couple reasons.

Clocking in a little shy of two hours, the film has plenty of time to build suspense, and boy, it has a tendency to work a little too hard at keeping that up, not so much dragging itself out with filler, but still outstaying its welcome with much meandering material that slows down the momentum of rising tension, however limited it may be by inconsistencies beyond pacing. I don't know if the film is so much all that humorous, or even all that fluffy of a report back to London on the tropes that Alfred Hitchcock picked up during his time in Hollywood, Anthony Shaffer's script, on top of spending too much time with certain segments in material in general, spends too much time with inconsequential, almost tongue-in-cheek lighter segments, broken up by moments of tension that would be more effective if they weren't so forcibly driven into the midst of borderline fluff. Tensions certainly aren't helped by the film's lack of originality, being at least consistent in tossing whatever pacing or tone it's following upon a traditional muder and wrong-suspect tale that is all too predictable to feel all that momentous, just as it's too histrionic to fell that grounded. I don't suppose Shaffer's scripted storytelling is all that far out there, but it's a bit questionable, drawing a borderline barely probable thriller narrative whose holes in full buyability are conceptually problematic enough. Of course, what ultimately secures the final product's underwhelmingness through the story concept is merely natural shortcomings, because the near-two-hour runtime, and the jarring incorporations of more serious tonal aspects, wouldn't be so unreasonable if this story concept wasn't so light in momentum to begin with. I feel that something could have been done to carry this story a fair distance in execution, and highlights in storytelling stand as evidence, yet the consequential shortcomings - of which there are many - ultimately reinforce limitations in intrigue enough to hold the final product back as a relatively underwhelming, somewhat fluffy thriller. There's something ultimately lacking here, but not so lacking that the final product doesn't entertain just fine as a fair penultimate opus in Hitchcock's career, and one that looks good along the way.

Really, Gilbert Taylor's and an uncredited Leonard J. South's cinematography is hardly all that special, but it pays a nice compliment to Alfred Hitchock's distinctive visual style with a lovely pronunciation of color and some subtle plays with lighting that do a decent job of drawing you into the looks of this character piece. Of course, this thriller thrives more on the portrayers of its characters, and while there's not a whole lot of material for anyone to utilized as standouts or anything of that sort, most everyone has a very English and distinguished charisma which sells each individual character, while the occasional dramatic beat reinforces a sense of consequence. The performances are solid, never really standing out, but having a certain realization to presence to help keep you invested, with the help of some pretty decent material, in all fairness. Anthony Shaffer's script gets to be rather uneven in tone and pacing, and quite frankly, it's perhaps a little too blasted British in its overt dryness, whose somewhat subdued approach to heavy subject matter further limits a sense of weight, yet through all of the shortcomings, Shaffer's humor is generally clever and amusing, while characterization proves to be well-rounded enough for you to get a grip on the characters, and the conflicts which follow them. True, there's only so much weight to get a grip on within this somewhat narratively thin and very unoriginal story concept, but potential is here, intriguing as a classic, if sometimes probably questionable study on the hunt for the wrong man in a serial murder case, anchored by the aforementioned charismatic acting and clever script. Of course, what really brings storytelling to life, about as much as it can be with material so thin in concept and uneven in execution, is Alfred Hitchcock's direction, which not only flaunts a handsome visual style, as I said earler, but keeps fairly focused in that classic Hitchcockian manner, focusing on writing wit enough to keep the slow spells from descending into blandness, while playing with a sharp atmosphere during the more intense moments in order to thoroughly chill, and provide glimpses into a more effective thriller. Needless to say, the heights in intensity are few and far between in this sparse affair, and in between that is a thriller that is too held back by predictability, inconsistency and other issues to be all that thrilling, but entertainment value is not lost, sustaining enough intrigue to keep you going, even if it's for only so far.

Bottom line, the momentously and tonally uneven, as well as unoriginal and sometimes histrionic telling of a slightly thin story concept hold the final product back, but decent cinematography, charismatic acting, clever writing and thoughtful direction prove to be enough to make Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy" a pretty entertaining and sometimes pretty tense, if underwhelming penultimate project in the career of the Master of Suspense.

2.5/5 - Fair
½ January 25, 2014
Another great film by the master of suspense, Hitchcock,
January 15, 2014
I first saw Frenzy, 30 yrs ago as a young man and saw it as a masoganistic minor Hitchcock film, sloppily made and easily forgettable. I saw it as a last ditch effort, by a once film master, to return to the directorial form he enjoyed with films like Psycho and North By Northwest.

I had a rare chance to revisit the film on the big screen recently and now that I am approximatly the same age that Hitchcock was when he directed Frenzy, I saw what Hitchcock had created in an entirely new light. The viewing was nothing short of an epiphany for me.
I saw Frenzy as an homage to his wife and maybe even an apology to all women after years of objectifying them in his films. From a man who became defined by the brutal and titilating shower scene in Psycho, maybe this was a chance at redemption.

The film takes place during the reign of terror by a serial killer in London, who rapes and then strangles his victims using a necktie. Through a series of unlucky events one man is investigated and charged by the police, while the real killer continues to stalk the streets.
But what I believe the film is truly about is an end of life realization by Hitchcock that women are the true heroes in our lives. If you examine every woman in this film you soon realize their one focus is to bring love and joy to the people and more specifically the men around them. The main characters ex-wife secretly slips money into his pocket when she sees that he is down on his luck. The police chiefs wife who continually tries to broaden his culinary apetite as she chides him to look at the case from a new perspective. They are all smart, organized, humble and generous to a fault. Even the rape scene feels more like a woman finally giving in to her dates advances. And what does she get for it ? Suffocation, using the one symbolic item of clothing that is distinctly male. A necktie...
Where as all the men come across as bumbling self serving clowns , who dont see what they have right in front of them. And seem to treat the murders as more of a means of entertainment. In fact one of the pivotal scenes where the killer gets stuck in a potato truck trying to retrieve a piece of evidence off a corpse comes across as more slapstick than suspense.

Bravo Mr Hitchcock for showing that it is not your film that is masoganistic, but it is the men that inhabit them.

Love the women in your life....dont suffocate them....or you may lose them for good....
½ January 11, 2014
Very suspenseful after a bit of a slow start.
½ January 1, 2014
perhaps superceded by newer films, but this freaked me - the [spoiler alert] framing of the innocent man.
December 7, 2013
very great movie! except I didn't really liked the ending I felt like it could've gone another way.
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