20 December 2014

Hysteria (1965)
85 min.
Directed by Freddie Francis.
With Robert Webber, Anthony Newlands, Jennifer Jayne, Maurice Denham, Lelia Goldoni, Peter Woodthorpe.
One of several Hammer thrillers inspired by the success of Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO.

After a terrible car accident, American Chris (Webber) wakens in a London hospital to discover he can recall nothing of his own identity or past.

Meanwhile, an anonymous benefactor has been footing all of Chris' medical bills and even arranged swanky penthouse digs.

But all of it is not without a price.

Soon, Chris hears disturbing voices in the night, then begins to see a woman supposedly dead...and finally signs of a knifing in a shower.

Is Chris a pawn in some manipulative murder plot...or could he unknowingly be a maniacal killer?

Webber is good here as a bit of a cad, while duplicitous Goldoni is passably icy.

Not as tightly wound as the studio's own Scream of Fear (1961), but still well directed by Francis and boasting a solid script by Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster.

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