“I’ve always wanted to die.”
A young woman (Kim Hunter) searches for her missing sister, Jacqueline (Jean Brooks), who has joined a Satanic cult in New York.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Kim Hunter Films
- Mark Robson Films
- Mysterious Disappearance
- Psychological Horror
- Val Lewton Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “exceptional Val Lewton thriller” is a “complete original”, featuring “bizarre and sinister characters”, “smart, strong-willed women”, and “several scary scenes.” The screenplay is complex, “full of smart dialogue between educated characters about free will vs. fate”, and it takes an unexpected turn about halfway through, when Hunter and Hugh Beaumont (Jacqueline’s husband) fall in love with each other and reduce their efforts to find Brooks. As always, producer Lewton — this time via director Mark Robson and cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca — employs stark cinematography and clever framing to create frightful scenes without gore (note especially the shower scene). The Seventh Victim is a rare film which requires multiple viewings to really “get”, but is worth the effort.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Kim Hunter in her film debut as Mary Gibson
- Jean Brooks as Jacqueline
- Effective noir cinematography
- Many genuinely frightening moments
- The infamous shower scene, predating Psycho (1960) by 17 years
- The surprise ending
Yes. This enigmatic film has long held fascination for film fanatics, and merits multiple viewings.
- Cult Movie
- Important Director
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)