Daily Double

Horror Daily Double: Dead of Night, Black Sabbath

We're doing 31 days of scary movie pairs! Today: Legendary classic anthology films!

by | October 18, 2018 | Comments

Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating Halloween with 31 days of horror double feature recommendations. Each day of the week will have its own theme, with today’s being Throwback Thursday! And if you want see what’s in store or what you missed, see the Daily Double schedule.

For Throwback Thursdays, we pair up movies released before the 1970s, before The Exorcist or Jaws made horror blockbuster business. Today’s Daily Double: two legendary anthology films!

Dead of Night (1945) 93%

Dead of Night wasn’t the first horror anthology film, but it was the first to make a lasting impact. Martin Scorsese recently placed it fifth on his list of 11 scariest movies of all time. (Though this was before Slender Man came out so who knows what his list looks like now.) Not bad for a spooky film coming from peak-era Ealing Studios, who were more known for putting out mannered comedies and dramas, though perhaps the stately approach to Dead of Night‘s material is precisely what gives it lasting, haunting power. The film takes place in a house in the country, where a man is looking for some R&R after being plagued by recurring nightmares. To his astonishment, the arriving guests are the ones in his dreams and he’s able to tell bizarre stories about each. Dead‘s twist ending and circular plot established a horror device that has reached as far within genre film, such as Polanski’s The Tenant, Triangle, and current horror anthology champ, Southbound.

Black Sabbath (1963) 89%

Director Mario Bava established his name on the international stage with this triptych of terror tales, hosted by Boris Karloff. The first is a blackmail love triangle, involving pimps and jilted lesbian lovers. The second, and the weakest, and is a 19th century fairy tale in which Karloff returns home having killed an undead legendary animal. The third, and most famous, deals with a nurse stealing jewelry off the recently deceased, only to be haunted by the maddening sound of water drops afterwards. Black Sabbath is fun, campy, spooky, and relatively clean considering the director; this was made before the gore and sleaze of the ’70s hardened the genre for good.

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