Halloweek: Night Watch (1973)

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.

nightwatch1

(Image via Chances Watch)

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.

nightwatch2

(Image via ElizabethTaylor.com)

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.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Halloweek: Night Watch (1973)

Share your thoughts! (Note: Comments close 90 days after publication.)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s