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Monday, November 3, 2008

THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943)



After three successful pairings with Jacques Tourneur, producer Val Lewton continued his atmospheric horror pics @ RKO, promoting Mark Robson, his top editor, to director. And while Robson soon became a solid director, he never turned the minuscule budgets and crummy contract actors into a credible unified style as Tourneur had. Kim Hunter, in her film debut, leaves a cloistered school when her sister, the only relative she has, disappears somewhere in NYC. Just as she is beginning to find a set of friends and contacts in the city, as well as a job, she locates her sister’s trail and follows it right into a den of witches. Six have already died, pressured into suicide to protect the coven. Will her sister become the 7th victim? It all sounds promising, but only the opening and closing reels really come off, especially the tragic final coda.

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