“I know. I’m damned.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
… shadows dancing on the inn’s wall:
… possessed Leone’s evil face shown in close up as she leers at her sister:
… [and] a death in a flour mill” — and he notes that “the whole film has an effectively haunting, misty look due to the use of gauze in front of the camera.”
However, while Peary and every other reviewer I’ve read seem quite taken by this intentionally ethereal mood piece (made during a transitional period between silent films and talkies), I was much less engaged. Non-actor West — who funded the film, thus securing a role for himself — simply wanders through a pair of houses watching admittedly eerie and incomprehensible imagery playing out, while far too many pages from the book he’s received about vampires are shown on screen for us to read at regular intervals.
Meanwhile, I’m hard-pressed to see much evidence in the surreal narrative of “the conflict between the heart and the brain for the soul” — though clearly there’s plenty here for those so inclined to interpret in a variety of ways.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)