“Black Sunday” is a delightful horror experience that’s truly unlike anything else I’ve seen. I’ve had the pleasure of watching classy, old-school horror movies like “Psycho” and the Universal Monster movies (among others) before, but I’ve never seen a black-and-white horror movie that’s as elegant as those movies while also being as violent and gory as a modern-day entry. The story itself, involving witches, resurrections and vampires, is truly fascinating in a fireplace-at-night kind of way, managing to establish an ominous, fairly oppressive atmosphere that enraptures the audience from the get go. The sets and costume design are just gorgeous while the cinematography is absolutely pitch-perfect: Every shot is perfectly framed, the black-and-white photography is striking, and the score could easily be used as a Halloween-night soundtrack without any changes. Barbara Steele steals scenes left and right in dual roles, while director Mario Bava’s camera absolutely loves her, and she manages to stand out even among all the movie’s other attributes. Pop this on late on night and you’ll have a blast.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)