Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day 142: Spirits of the Dead

This is an anthology movie from three of the biggest names in European cinema at the time (Vadim, Fellini and Malle) and all are supposedly based on Edgar Allen Poe stories (but none of the popular ones). I watched this during last October's 31 horror movies.

The first story follows Jane Fonda's countess as she lives a life of debauchery on the next property over from her cousin (Peter Fonda). He saves her life one day when she is caught in a hunting trap. She becomes enamored with her cousin (which makes it weirder that they are played by real life siblings) and, after he rejects her lifestyle, she accidentally kills him by burning down his barn. The appearance of an odd, black horse soon afterwards is where the weirdness starts.

The second story is about a man in a confessional telling a priest about how he has been haunted by a doppelganger his whole life. It is just freaky enough to land the ambiguous ending.

The third story tells of the life of Toby Dammit, a well-respected actor who is going a little insane. His whole sequence feels like a dream.

These are certainly interesting little mini-movies. The very European nature of it makes it a bit surreal and a little pretentious. All the actors do a great job but sometimes the narratives fail to stick their landings.

If you like avant garde horror that is not scary in the slightest, check it out. Worth it for completists of the directors involved. For normal folks, I say skip it.

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