Rating X/ 18
Director Terence Fisher
About Three archaeologists uncover the sarcophagus of Princess Ananka despite being warned of a curse. The situation regresses when one of them awakens Kharis, who was entombed alive to guard the princess.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Purchased for £5 on Amazon Prime
- I’m not sure I enjoyed the flashback approach to the storytelling. I know it is a tool of the Hammer Horrors, but it doesn’t work so well here. I felt a little lost and bogged down as I was too invested in the characters I’d met, rather than the ‘why’ of the curse.
- The inclusion of Mrs Banning does pale in comparison to the 1999 instalment. It feels more that she’s a token female character thrown in at the last minute, rather than being integral to the plot. A shame, as it would only require one or two changes.
- What is not to love about this classic Hammer Horror. There’s a charm to the static approach of filming, the obvious soundstage setting and even the actor’s approach to dialogue is very different to what we’d expect today.
- Peter Cushing is such a striking lead. He most certainly must have inspired Tom Hiddleston at some point. Certainly, if there’s ever a biopic about the Hammer Horror movies; Hiddleston is a shoe-in for playing Cushing.
- Christopher Lee is unmistakeable, even when he’s covered in bandages. His presence is daunting while bandaged, but it is rather enchanting when we get to the flashbacks.
- Even though I mentioned that the cameras are rather static throughout, there is a change to that when the father is about to be attacked. The bedroom is shown on an angle and it gives you a great sense of the panic the man is feeling.
- The set designs are really quite beautiful and the music compliments the whole film and the changing moods.
Not my favourite Hammer Horror, but certainly worth a watch for Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee alone.