4 "Something evil. Monstrously evil."severian67 | 07/08/2007 | See all severian67's reviews (15)Another classic, and an unusual item to come from Ealing Studios, who latterly became rather more famous for their comedies than for scare stories. I first saw this at a special screening at the National Film Theatre in London, and it's subsequently become something of a favourite. I believe it's also the film which gave rise to the tradition of the "episodic" horror movie, where the viewer is presented with a selection of short tales, held together by a linking story. Much of the film is very quaint, presenting a vista of an England which is long vanished (if indeed it ever truly existed), and three of the tales are entertaining but quite forgettable. The others, though, are quite a different kettle of fish, being absolutely terrific little atmospheric gems. The first of these, directed by Robert Hamer, features Googie Withers in a story usually referred to as the Haunted Mirror, in which her character buys an antique mirror which - you guessed it - turns out to have a dark secret. This one plays very successfully on the old chestnut "is the room I see in the mirror really just the reflection of the room I'm standing in, or is it another room entirely? And what lies beyond?" I'll say no more, for fear of spoiling the story for the uninitiated. The other great episode, the Ventriloquist's Dummy, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti and starring the brilliant Michael Redgrave, is the tale which gave rise to the "creepy ventriloquist's dummy" phenomenon which has since become somewhat over-familiar. Here it is presented for the first time on film and at its most effective, with the hag-ridden Michael Redgrave being increasingly dominated by his malevolent little wooden partner (or is it just all in his mind?). "Dead of Night" is shot in luminous, atmospheric black and white and, as well as being a landmark film in the development of the horror movie, still stands up today as a memorable chiller.