“Yeah, they’re dead. They’re all messed up.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary notes that this “pessimistic and unsentimental” film taps into our most “basic fears: monsters that won’t go away, darkness, claustrophobia”, with “even blood relations [turning] on their loved ones when infected by a ghoul’s bite”. He offers numerous other titles for comparison, noting that NOTLD has “much in common with Invisible Invaders, Carnival of Souls, and, the most obvious influences, Psycho and The Birds;” he points out that in both NOTLD and The Birds, for instance, “people congregate in [a] house for one reason only: fear”. He notes parallels between the literal attacks perpetrated from the outside of the house by the “ghouls”, and the internal verbal sparring between Jones (interestingly, the “script never mentions that [he] is black”) and boorish Hardman — and points out the ironic fact that “Hardman’s plan for survival… turns out to be superior to the implemented plan of Jones”, something apparently not noted by any other critics at the time.
Be forewarned: for first-time viewers, the powerful surprise ending is sure to make you go, “Now wait a minute!!!” It comes as a visceral shock, and was a bold move by screenwriter John A. Russo.
Note:Why does Peary call the zombies “ghouls” throughout his review? I’m really not sure.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)