The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BURN, WITCH, BURN (1962) *** ½

Peter (Flash Gordon) Wyngarde stars as a snobby professor who doesn’t believe in superstition and witchcraft, and scoffs at anyone who does. When he learns his wife (Janet Blair) has been dabbling in witchcraft, Wyngarde forces her to burn all of her supernatural trinkets. But Blair wholeheartedly believes that these doodads are “protecting” her husband; a prospect he thinks is ridiculous. However, after the trinkets are ashes, the shit really hits the fan for the professor. A student accuses him of rape, her jealous boyfriend tries to kill him, and he nearly dies in a car accident. Then, things get REALLY strange.

Burn, Witch, Burn is a moody, elegant horror flick that relies on low key shocks and realistic paranoia for its terror. And boy; is it ever effective. Usually whenever supernatural horror films take the “realistic” route, they come up short in the scares department, but not this one.

I give a lot of the credit to the literate, intelligent script, written by Charles Beaumont and the late, great Richard Matheson. Beaumont and Matheson cleverly set up the premise, and director Sidney (Circus of Horrors) Hayers executes the scares nicely. The flick only loses its way and resorts to cheap shocks in the final reel when a giant eagle statue comes to life to attack our hero. But other than that, it’s a top shelf horror film on just about every level.

AKA: Night of the Eagle. AKA: Hypno.

Tags: b, horror
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