The Seventh Victim - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Seventh Victim Reviews

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½ April 26, 2016
Not a perfect movie by any means, gets kinda convoluted after a certain point, but it's unnerving and creepy in ways few movies are, and its views on death and suicide are very daring.
October 8, 2015
What starts as a simple missing persons noir spirals into a bleak psychological horror about one suicidal woman wronging a powerful satanic cult and escaping the only way she knows how. A fascinating & deeply unsettling B film that went on to influence such bigger horror classics as Psycho & Rosemary's Baby.
July 2, 2015
good stuff i liked this one
½ March 16, 2015
Horror fanatics discuss Val Lewton like he's a sort of shadow obsessed God. The producer of low-budget, WWII era horror films renowned for their innovative use of lighting to create a supernaturally spooky tone, projects like "Cat People" and "The Leopard Man" aren't lumped together with the schlocky frankness of "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" or "The Mummy." They're held in a sort of shimmering prestige: Martin Scorsese considers the Lewton produced "Isle of the Dead" to be the 11th scariest horror movie of all time; Leonard Maltin believes "I Walked with a Zombie" is an exceptional forage into B-movie terror. But maybe I'm harder to please than most.
I prefer coffee-stained cinematography to slimy gore when it comes to the genre, but no matter how I look at it, I consider the films of Lewton to be ingeniously shot, but not much more than that. Sure, there is a building dread that causes our adrenaline to genuinely pump (especially in comparison to other chillers of the time), but I've never been truly frightened by one of his films; many act as though they're as disturbing as the untamed throes of modern horror. With the exception of the excellent "Cat People," they are well-made, if forgettable, B-movies. Maybe I'm just not as much of a Lewton aficionado as I'd like to be.
This shouldn't suggest that his films are bad; they're anything but. For the 1940s, they're more stylistically daring than anything in the decade. They rely solely on their photography and ghostly atmosphere, a dangerous move during a time where most studio heads would have an easier time pasting Frankenstein makeup onto the latest macabre personality.
"The Seventh Victim," which is probably Lewton's second best film, after "Cat People," of course, goes into the darkest territory of all his films combined. This time, island roaming zombies or lady panthers are not the villains. Satan worshippers are. The climax is not a seismic relief but a distressing suicide, an ending unthinkable when happy endings were at their historic peak. "The Seventh Victim" takes risk after risk after risk after risk, a series of dares that should pay off. But with its low production value and upsettingly short running time (a mere 71 minutes), things feel cluttered. There isn't quite enough room to develop the story into something earthshakingly haunting; the plot twist comes by so quickly that it doesn't hit us with nearly as much fury as it might have liked to. But if it were produced by anyone other than Lewton, it certainly wouldn't have the staying power it so proudly boasts. With its nightmarishly inky corridors and ingeniously characterized villains, it leaves a frightening taste in our mouth when the story offs itself before anything too stimulating happens.
Kim Hunter portrays Mary, a naive young woman who is getting her education at Miss Highcliff's boarding school. Before the film even has time to explain itself, Mary is called into her headmistresses office. It seems that Jacqueline (Jean Brooks), Mary's older sister and only relative, has not paid for her tuition in months. Facing financial hardship, the school offers Mary a choice; she can either stay by working as a student aid, or she can find a different place to learn.
Mary, wary of the school's clingy ways, decides to take on the real world. She figures she'll find Jacqueline in a short amount of time, and, with enough education on her side, will be able to find work for herself. But after just a few days of searching, Mary begins to realize that Jacqueline isn't simply on a vacation or something charming like that. She is involved in something hideous, something unspeakable; and after committing a crime, she may have to pay for it with her life.
For a film with satanists as its antagonists, "The Seventh Victim" is a surprisingly mature movie, where the foes are not fire-breathing devils but rather people you could pass by on the street without even noticing something strange. As Mary descends into a progressively alarming situation, we can't help but be even more frightened than she is; she believes that she's going to reunite with her sister in harmony, but we know that something much more evil is circling around her whereabouts. In a way, this is the most unsettling thing about the film. Because we know so much and because Mary knows so little, we instinctively want to protect her. But like her sister, we know that we're much too far in over our head to make any major changes.
The story may not stick with you, but its images will. In her brief appearance, Jean Brooks, covered in thick furs and surrounded by an onyx mane, makes a statement, looking like an apotheosis of the crossroads between good and evil. The infamous shower scene, an obvious precursor to the carnage of "Psycho," has a blink-and-you'll miss it allusion that only enhances the indirect jolts of the film. "Cat People," along with "The Seventh Victim" are the best films to come out of the Lewton cannon; shame about the overrated others.
½ February 13, 2015
As mulheres e o diabo dançam ao ritmo da intriga de temperamentos, nesta produção da RKO, que, apesar de uma sofisticação à prova do tempo, nunca chega ser especialmente memorável. O imparável entra e sai de tantas personagens, condensado em apenas 70 minutos, não ajuda nada à compreensão do que se está a passar.
January 20, 2015
Aunque posee buenos momentos y estèticamente està muy bien, le falta algo para engancharte.
November 23, 2014
It begins with an interesting story of mystery, but the bold cult worship and bad editing in rush at the end wrecks all.
July 25, 2014
No matter what happens, don't come back.

Mary Gibson arrives in Greenwich Village after her sister, Jacqueline, seems to have disappeared. She gets to know the area and some locals and gets involved with devil worshippers. What are the chances that the worshippers had something to do with her sister's death?

"They wanted me to die. Kill myself."

Mark Robson, director of Earth Quake, Von Ryan's Express, Peyton Place, Valley of the Dolls, Trial, The Harder they Fall, Bedlam, and Isle of the Dead, delivers The Seventh Victim. The storyline for this picture was just okay and a little too cleanly delivered. The characters were also only so interesting. The acting was solid and the cast includes Isabel Jewel, Kim Hunter, Evelyn Brent, Hugh Beaumont, and Ben Bard.

"She was asking about us."

I grabbed this movie off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) last Halloween season. I thought this was a unique horror film; unfortunately, it is pretty ordinary. Overall, this movie was pretty average, maybe slightly above average due to the character dynamics.

"I'm under orders to make you laugh."

Grade: C+
June 24, 2014
Fine Val Lewton produced horror film about Kim Hunter being lured into a secret society of devil worshipers. Directed by Mark Robson and like most Lewton films, this picture focused on suspense and insinuation of monsters and horrors rather than showing them. Hunter is good in her scene debut, as is the always reliable Tom Conway. One note of trivia, this film reused sets from Orson Welles' "Magnificent Ambersons".
½ January 21, 2014
Good, though I had hoped for slightly more.
½ September 19, 2013
A few good scenes hidden in a dull movie. There is a remarkable shower scene which predates Psycho's.
½ September 6, 2013
Brilliant early film from producer Val Lewton's short-lived but revered horror cycle out of RKO Pictures. Kim Hunter is a young woman who arrives in New York to locate her missing older sister and benefactor (Jean Brooks). Hunter is doubly worried because Brooks has always been somewhat morose and unstable. She follows a trail of clues that lead her into a weird subterranean world of murder and devil worship; things don't get any better when Brooks turns up alive either. The film suffers from some serious narrative and logical flaws, but the atmosphere is almost overwhelmingly bleak, especially for a film from the early 1940s. It's notable not just for its supremely pessimistic tone but for the fact that it is a horror film by and about literate adults. It's also groundbreaking for containing a suspenseful shower sequence almost two decades before Hitchcock made Psycho. The end of this film is genuinely numbing. A wonderful, strange film that is full of surprises for the modern moviegoer.
½ July 26, 2013
Potent imagery escalates an otherwise plodding plot.
½ May 6, 2013
Darker than I usually care for.
½ January 24, 2013
A lot of forgettable dialogue, but very few forgettable images.
May 2, 2012
Queer, enigmatic B grade noir chiller that twists endlessly. A real dark sensibility that somehow dodged the censors. The cinematography and lighting are at times breathtaking, particularly the chase sequence at the end.
½ March 30, 2012
A film that starts off incredibly strong but really fades down the stretch. The first half of this film has to be one of the best omnious/mystery type films I have ever seen. Kim, our main protagonist, is such an innocent, fragile character that it just adds to the mystery element of her sister's disappearance. It's without a doubt a well-written film that is a very interesting commentary on Good vs. Evil, but I really found the film to lose a lot of its momentum in the second half. To it's credit, it's depiction of this satantic cult is down in a very intelligent way, not just painting them as lunatic monsters like every other film these days. I actually found Jacqueline, her missing sister, to be the most interesting character in the entire film. She is such a fragile soul who is caught up in this group think mentality, who clearly has no real grasp on her own individualism. The two best scenes in this film without a doubt are the shower scene, which clearly must have influenced Hitchcock's Psycho, and the scene in the hallway where the PI is murdered in front of Kim. I can honestly say that the hairs on my neck stood up. In the end, the first half of this film had me thinking it was going to be a favorite of mine but it just really lost a lot of its steam in the second half.
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