I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
Critic Consensus: 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.
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as Wesley Rand
as Betsy Connell
as Paul Holland
as Mrs. Rand
as Dr. Maxwell
as Jessica Holland
as Calypso Singer
as Carre Four
as Mr. Wilkens
Critic Reviews for I Walked With a Zombie
It transcends the conventions of the horror genre and remains one of Lewton-Tourneur's most compelling studies in light and darkness.
A dull, disgusting exaggeration of an unhealthy, abnormal concept of life.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for I Walked With a Zombie
Although he went on to make much better films, Jacques Tourner's I Walked With a Zombie is not anywhere near a waste of time. There are some genuinely creepy moments (although they're repeated in other Val Lewton productions) and some very lovely cinematography. There's not really much of a plot to speak of and our leading lady has very little to do in the second half of the movie, but there's some good stuff here. Worth a late night viewing.
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.
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.
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