Monday, 7 October 2013

The Beast in the Cellar - Reviewed.

The Beast in the Cellar(1970)

Director: James Kelley

Writer: James Kelley (original screenplay)

Stars: Beryl Reid, Flora Robson, John Hamill

So here we have another blast from the past The Beast in the cellar starring the fantastic Beryl Reid and Flora Robson, It tells the tale of two lonely spinsters Ellie Ballantyne (Reid) and Joyce Ballantyne (Robson) that live together in an idyllic setting within the British countryside, or is it that idyllic?
The film opens up with a scene that is very reminiscent of the opening of An American werewolf in London, This time involving a soldier that is walking alone on the moors when he is viciously attacked by an unseen attacker, The spinsters live near a military base and are obviously shaken by the news of a murder in such a quiet place, They are reassured by a local soldier that regularly visits them, But when another and another murder takes place this sends Ellie into a spiral of madness and paranoia, It then transpires that they may well know the attacker and are not letting on what indeed they do know.
It is said that Reid and Robson upon seeing the completed cut of the film were very unhappy at the way it was edited and felt that their best scenes were trimmed way too much. The film is a slow burner but the interaction and the conversations between both women are all part of the films very English charm, Reid makes and drinks tea like it is going out of fashion!
This film to me has a great feel, such as with Deathline (RAW MEAT) But as I said the pace is a lot slower, Not really that much gore either to mention but the performances are superb and as I said it's full of atmosphere and 70's English charm, So with the darks night coming along if you fancy a great 70's British film and this is one that is not seen around as many of the others from that era you could do a lot worse than this, well worth a look.
7.5 / 10

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