Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nightmare (1964)

Director: Freddie Francis

Starring: David Knight, Jennie Linden & Moira Redmond

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: She dreamed a dream of murder...that didn't end when she woke up!

Plot: Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled because of her persistent nightmares, Janet is sent home where the nightmares continue.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Would I watch it again? Absolutely!

#19 on Hammer Horror (1957-1976)

The Hammer Studio back in the 60s was THE studio for horror. They dominated the genre. Even though most of their horror output that decade was Gothic, they cranked out a handful of very good thrillers. This is my first viewing of NIGHTMARE and it certainly won't be the last.

Written by Hammer regular Jimmy Sangster, who wrote some of their best including THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) and DRACULA (1958), the story unfolds rather slowly, always asking the question where or not Janet is going insane. No spoilers here but where it ends up is a very nice surprise, indeed. I dug the twist and, despite half seeing it coming, I didn't know all of the details and didn't care about knowing until the end because the journey compliments the destination.

It's fantastic and Don Banks' score is very much like James Bernard's Hammer output - very chilling. The acting is top notch. Everyone holds their own very well. The only thing that bothered me a bit was the pacing. At 83 minutes it feels like 120. I highly recommend this and since it's part of a box set of Hammer horror films like BRIDES OF DRACULA, THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, PARANOIAC, THE KISS OF THE VAMPIRE, NIGHT CREATURES and THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN, it's a no brainer when you can pick it up at for less than $18 and free shipping! All are fantastic widescreen prints and every film is a repeat watcher.


  1. Not one of Sangster's best psycho-thrillers but I do enjoy Nightmare. Great atmosphere.

  2. Agreed. It's not surprising that, of Hammer, I've mostly seen the gothic horror biggies like the vampire pictures and very little of the thrillers. I've got a lot of catching up to do and I'm anxiously looking forward to it. I dig your site!