Played more as melodrama than horror
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After the funeral of their young daughter, a family, comprising of father, older son, teenage daughter and their young step mother, discover that the man suspected for her murder has been released by police due to insufficient evidence. The father and son, together with their friend whose own daughter was also killed by the same suspect, concoct a plan to kidnap the man and force a confession out of him. But things get a little out of hand once they have him subdued in their pub cellar, fractures begin to appear between the conspirators as the weight of what they are actually doing begins to dawn. And when the police arrest another man in connection with the murder, their suspect looks to be innocent and sends everything into a downward spiral. Have the police got it right this time, or is the family’s intuition correct all along – the final confrontation will tell all.
The early 70’s holds a wealth of censor pushing cinematic history, with filmmakers ready, willing and able to show what had never been thought possible. Peckinpah, Kubrick, Russell, Polanski are just a few of the names responsible for some of the most gritty, realistic and downright horrific cinema unleashed into a world just out of the Flower Power era. Revenge was released at the same time (1971) as many other censor pushing films and tried to tap into that vein. Unfortunately, whilst the ideas are there, it fails to deliver on anything substantial. (Funnily enough, even now the PR blurb purports it to be something the film is not). Yes the film looks at paedophilia, grief, a vengeful family and fractured love and also tries its hand at shock value and sexual sleaze; there is just no conviction in its motivation, drive or visuals. Indeed the whole thing is played more melodramatic rather than horror and, as such, comes off as pedestrian and ordinary.
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