The Devil’s Own / The Witches (1966)
Director: Cyril Frankel
Main Stars: Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowen, Ann Bell, Ingrid Boulting, Michele Dotrice, Gwen Ffrangcon Davies, Ingrid Boulting
Storyline: A school teacher moves to a small village to teach and witness’s examples of possible witch craft.
Review (Spoils): English School teacher (Joan Fontaine) was in Africa when she had a nervous breakdown due to being haunted by voodoo. After she was recovered, she was offered a new job as a school teacher in a small country town. When she arrives, she notices the people of the village are very private and even some act very weird. As she witnesses a young bright boy who hangs out with a blond girl who plays with dolls being picked on by the village she gets interested. As she works her way into getting more information on the occult and people start to disappear or die the truth starts to show.
Like much Hammer Films the scenery are amazing in this little Gothic tale of witchcraft. The characters are well done and played for the small strange village. Joan Fontaine does a great job trying to play the sane one (even though her hair was a disaster in the film). Ingrid Boulting did a fantastic job playing the secretive young woman Linda who played with dolls and left the audience guessing if she was evil or not.
The film like mentioned above gave the typical Hammer scenery with is breath taking for horror, we have chants, strange high as a kit dancing, drowning, sheep shit, worms more sheep, little dolls and some stabbings. Nothing over the top for blood and gore except for the mud and sheep poop.
Rating: This movie was way better then I thought it would be. The opening scene seemed a bit cheesy and I was concerned but once the film moved it location to Europe, I was ok. The ending just kind of ends and it could of used some weirdness or a cliff hanger but it was based off a book. Which I did learn that that Joan Fontaine bought the script and sold herself and the tale to Hammer to be done.