Shock (1977) **
D: Mario Bava
C: Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, David Colin Jr., Ivan Rassimov
Plot Synopsis: A couple is terrorized in their new house haunted by the vengeful ghost of the woman's former husband who possesses her young son.
Review: Mario Bava's final directorial effort is a stylishly executed film about a couple who move back into the home in which the woman's former husband killed himself. Almost immediately, things begin to go awry with the wife falling apart and her son becoming possessed by the ghost of his dad, her former spouse.
Playing the female half of this couple is Daria Nicolodi. She has a striking, on camera presence. The camera work is equally striking. The color palates & visuals are eye catching. The score is electrifying. There's a few stand out moments, as well as a few suspenseful ones. This is a well produced film, but solid production values can only do so much to cover inherently weak material.
After the characters have moved into this house, the woman's dead spouse begins to leash out against his former wife and her new husband. Hubby acts suspicious. The wife becomes unraveled. I wonder if they had anything to do with his death? Hmmmm...... There's a brick wall, in the house, that seems to be hiding something. I wonder what it could be? Hmmmm.....
From the get go, it's pretty obvious what's happening. Since we know what's happening and how it's going to happen, we're stuck waiting for the inevitable to happen. In terms of story, Shock is willfully useless, because there's no element of surprise or anything to keep viewers engaged, wondering as to where all of this is heading.
To put it simply, this is third rate material in dress clothes. [R] 95 minutes.
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