Curse of the Demon

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Year Released: 1958
Rating: 2.5

I'm not certain what it is about Tourneur's well-regarded 'horror' films that don't appeal to me (I was equally cold to I Walked With a Zombie and Cat People) - it certainly can't be Tourneur himself, since I think his Out of the Past is a superb noir. I typically 'expect' horror films to be foreboding and ominous, even frightening, but Tourneur's really about shaded rooms and deep conversations: he'd rather have his characters chat about potentially spooky topics than try that hard to be spooky. When the producer (according to Dave Kehr) forced him to actually have a 'demon' (that looks like a hairier Godzilla) and a leopard (that looks like a stuffed animal) in the film, it cheapens the picture but allows for something startling to break up the monotonous pace; likewise, Dana Andrews, as the psychiatrist out to investigate one of those Big Themes - that of the Supernatural - only looks confused instead of concerned.