Although this slice of Southern gothic horror has long been associated with 1962’s “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” thanks to the casting of Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland as well as director Robert Aldrich, the two movies have nothing else in common. Here, while Davis throws herself into her character with characteristic dedication, it’s de Havilland who walks away with the movie with a multi-faceted performance that both recalls Hollywood’s golden age while also subverting it, thanks to a duplicity that slowly reveals itself. The movie itself is extraordinarily well-directed and atmospheric, with scenes of genuinely shocking violence that are complimented by the plot’s gradual unfurling, revealing its secrets one at a time until the picture comes together in the end. There are some slow moments here and there that hold it back from being a bona-fide classic, but it’s definitely worth a look for fans of horror or classic Hollywood.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)