I love Hammer films especially when I get to watch the restored versions released on Blu-ray. Let’s take a look how this one turned out, here is my Paranoiac Blu-ray Movie Review.
Probably not the best known Hammer film and I can’t remember seeing on TV for a long time. Paranoiac is a black and white suspense horror film starring Oliver Reed and Janette Scott from 1963.
- Paranoiac (1963 Suspense Horror)
- Directed By: Freddie Francis
- Written By: Josephine Tey, Screenplay Jimmy Sangter
- Music By: Elisabeth Lutyens
- Running Time: 81 Mins
- UK Rating: 12
- Released By: Eureka Entertainment
- Starring: Oliver Reed, Janette Scott, Sheila Burrell, Alexander Davion, Liliane Brousse
This is the story of Ashby family, with both parents killed in a plane crash and the eldest son having committed suicide the remaining Son, Simon Ashby (Oliver Reed) and daughter Eleanor (Janette Scott) are left emotionally damaged.
Simon has gone off the rails big time, drinking too much spending money left right and centre. Eleanor is thought to be going through some mental health issues and has a nurse to look after her.
In-between the two sibling is their Aunt Harriet who seems powerless to stop either of them losing control.
In three weeks time they will both inherit their parents estate worth £1 million pounds.
Simon seems happy for his sisters mental health to spiral out of control thus allowing him to control the estate.
However just to add some further complication to matters Simons accuses the family attorney of embezzling their fortune.
With all this going on who should turn up and throw thing further into chaos but their dead brother Tony. Is he really their brother or just some imposter after a share of the money? I’ll let you find that one out.
It’s great mix of suspense that jumps from character to character with all seemingly have their own agenda but ultimately the same goal, get the money!
I have to say Hammer pull this off really well, it’s a complicated web of intrigue done with a that style only Hammer films have.
Acting & Style
With good acting performances, Oliver Reed playing a drunk, I know, the irony but he really does give the impression that he’s losing it.
Janette Scott is very convincing as we see her begin to doubt her sanity more and more until…
I’ll let you find that out for yourself but it’s a terrific performance.
The film is shot in black and white and this really does adds to the tense feel of the film. It’s well shot with much of the film taking place within the family estate.
Pacing wise they get it right, slowly ratcheting up the tension.
Blu-ray – Paranoiac Blu-ray Movie Review (1963)
The Blu-ray picture quality is truly outstanding and the film has probably never looked as good which makes it all the more enjoyable.
If all older films get this level of restoration on Blu-ray I think everyone will be happy.
Outstanding restoration no worries here, simply enjoy!
Conclusion – Paranoiac Blu-ray Movie Review (1963)
It may not be one of the best know Hammer films but it’s certainly up there with their in terms of quality, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When you think of Hammer you tend to think Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in a Dracula or Frankenstein film, but goes to show they were very capable of producing a suspense thriller.
I don’t really have any complaints with this one, as I say it’s different and thats a good thing. I love pretty much all of the Hammer films but this stands out and should probably be shown more on television. It’s a lesser known gem.
So what is my movie rating for Paranoiac (1963)?
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Sound & Picture: EXCELLENT
Paranoiac (1963) is available Blu-ray now.
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster with trailer…
Paranoiac (1963) Blu-ray Review
Director(s): Freddie Francis
Actor(s): Oliver Reed, Janette Scott, Sheila Burrell, Alexander Davion
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
A complicated web of intrigue done with a that style only Hammer films have.