Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Walked with a Zombie

From 1943, this is the second in famed producer Val Lewton's regrettably small body of work with RKO.  Lewton mixes voodoo with a bit of Jane Eyre in the story of Betsy (the doe-eyed Frances Dee), a young nurse who comes to the Caribbean island of St. Sebastian to care for the catatonic wife (Christine Gordon) of a sugar planter (Tom Conway).  In her efforts to cure the woman, Betsy comes across a nest of secrets on the idyllic island.  With well-realized characters, a multifaceted plot, and wonderful lighting effects, I Walked with a Zombie is one of Lewton's best.  And that makes it very good indeed.

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