31 October 2014

The Seventh Victim (1943)
72 min.
Directed by Mark Robson.
With Tom Conway, Kim Hunter, Jean Brooks, Hugh Beaumont, Evelyn Brent, Isabel Jewell, Erford Gage, Ben Bard, Mary Newton.
A moody occult thriller and one of our favorites from producer Val Lewton.

Young student Mary Gibson (Hunter) learns her sister Jacqueline (Brooks) has gone missing and so she travels to New York City to begin a search for her.

But what Mary unearths is a secret society of sophisticated Satanists intent on exacting revenge for Jacqueline's supposed betrayal of their evil coven.

Will Mary succumb to the Diabolists before she's able to discover what happened to her sister?

A young Kim Hunter (who would go on to appear in such efforts as 1951's Streetcar and 1968's Planet of the Apes et al) simply shines in the poignant lead role.

The supporting crew is equally memorable (especially Newton as Mrs. Redi).

Light shades foreshadowing Roman Polanski's later Rosemary's Baby (1968) highlight the cult scenes, most notably the sequence where the Satanists attempt to persuade Jacqueline to commit suicide by poison...with a 'genteel' sort of patience.

Boasts a great downbeat ending.

Director Mark Robson would go on to direct several more notable horrors for producer Val Lewton including Isle of the Dead (1945) and Bedlam (1946).

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