In an effort to rejuvenate my thirst for film I have partaken on an ambitious endeavor. I have decided to compile my list of 100 favorite films, rewatch them, and write a brief review. I encourage you to follow along.
Daughters of Darkness (Kumel, 1971)
The first of many horror movies to appear on the list Harry Kumel’s deliciously stylish film is a piece of camp brilliance. Kumel however ignores much of the inherent camp that comes with the horror genre, and instead drives this film with the heavy hand of a romance melodrama. It is a struggle, not of fear or terror, but of power and obsession. Each character longing for control. Some play the sheep, and some play the wolf, and all of them are at the mercy of nature.
There is a hypnotic aura in this film, as if it were an elaborate seduction, not only are the characters seducing each other, Kumel seduces with his constant use of deep reds, dark shadows on smooth skin, and the magnetic performance of the great Delphine Seyrig. She is completely aware of every word she speaks, they all cross her lips with a careful deliberation, and every movement is like a hand sliding over silk. Despite Kumel’s style and camp, his film would be empty without Seyrig’s performance. However, Seyrig has an even more haunting performance in a film we will see later on the list.
– James Merolla