Welcome back to Halloweek! TMP’s annual celebration of all things spooky in the days leading up to Halloween has been extended from four days to seven! Today’s terror is brought to life by an unexpected star: the great Elizabeth Taylor. Stay tuned for more through Tuesday!
“What did you expect to find, Sherlock Holmes? A wax model covered with tomato ketchup? An earthworm with a revolver?”
Ellen Wheeler (Elizabeth Taylor) thinks she’s seen something. A thunderstorm is ranging, and in a window of the house next door, she believes she’s seen a murder.
Her husband John (Laurence Harvey) calls the police, but no evidence of a crime is found. Neither John nor the investigators quite take Ellen’s claims seriously. But when strange things continue happening in the neighborhood, Ellen and the others may find their lives in danger.
Night Watch was directed by Brian G. Hutton. It is based on the play of the same title by Lucille Fletcher. The screenplay was written by Tony Williamson with additional dialogue by Evan Jones.
Night Watch is definitely not the type of film I’d typically associate with Liz Taylor, though many classic leading ladies made a horror film or two later in their careers. It’s a campy film and certainly will never be considered among her best, but it does entertain!
There’s plenty of spooky atmosphere to be enjoyed: creaky hinges and eerie music, nightmare sequences, neighbors digging grave-shaped holes in their backyards during thunderstorms.
As has been commonly seen in the real world throughout history, the detectives dismiss Ellen’s concerns as a side effect of menopause. The viewer, however, makes no such mistake. Secrets of Ellen’s past are revealed as the film moves along, making for an interesting psychological element to the story.
There are plenty of genuinely spooky and suspenseful moments, and the ending is pretty great. Night Watch is not just a film for Taylor fans to seek out, but an eerie addition to anyone’s late-October viewing list.