The Body Snatcher (Wise, 1945)

The Body Snatcher (Robert Wise, 1945)

The streets of Scotland in the 1800s are dark, drab, quiet, and eerie. The slow, methodical clomping of horse’s hooves on the stone streets, the pubs warmed and lit by nothing more than the spitfire pig roast and occasional lamp, and the wind whistling through the trees as the seedy underworld of gravedigging becomes a nightly ritual all help to form an authentic and extremely atmospheric setting. The story that accompanies is not scary in the traditional sense of the word, but the psychological game involving a mad man, his tortured victim, and a back story we’re never quite fully privy to bring together a frightening and haunting experience. (And the film’s conclusion is a fantastic pinnacle of psychological nightmare.) If not for one of the main characters being nothing but a plot tool at every turn, this would be a masterpiece.  8.5/10


2 Responses to “The Body Snatcher (Wise, 1945)”

  1. Is this based on the short story by Robert Louis Stevenson?

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