THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943) Reviews of Val Lewton produced classic

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The Seventh Victim is a 1943 horror/film noir starring Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter (in her first film), and Hugh Beaumont, directed by Mark Robson, and produced by the legendary Val Lewton for RKO Radio Pictures.  The film has been especially praised for the shadowy camera work by Nicholas Musuraca, which prefigured much film noir imagery.

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A young woman stumbles upon an underground cult of Satanists in New York’s Greenwich Village while searching for her missing sister and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling’s random disappearance. What diabolical plans do they have in store for her…?

seventh victim

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“The film itself is one you should watch as late as possible, preferably after more than one glass of wine. It’s not a traditional horror flick; it’s an amazingly deep meditation on what it means to want to die. Although the film concentrates mainly on Mary’s Alice in Wonderland journey into the dark rabbit hole of Manhattan, it is Jean Brooks as Jacqueline who paints the most vicious, lasting portrait of a woman doomed.” Brett Cullum, DVD Verdict

“The Seventh Victim is an uncompromisingly downbeat film, at odds with the usual ‘good overcomes evil’ outlook of other war time horror flicks, and it emerges as a minor masterpiece as interestingly flawed as the characters who inhabit its quietly desperate story. That it rewards repeated viewing is testament to its subtle nuances and masterful execution. ” James Gracey, Behind the Couch

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