The Possessed

1965

Crime / Drama / Mystery

160
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 337

Synopsis


Downloaded 7,474 times
May 2, 2019

Director

Cast

Virna Lisi as Tilde
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
689.58 MB
1280*720
Italian
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.33 GB
1920×1080
Italian
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Francoesque-2 10 / 10 / 10

Beautiful, undeservedly obscure proto giallo

Having been very impressed by co-director Bazzoni's subsequent "The Fifth Cord", I have been very keen to see "The Lady of the Lake" since I first heard of it four or five years ago when i read Adrian Luther Smith's Excellent "Bloody and Black Lace" - a definitive collection of giallo reviews. It appears, under the title "The Possessed" in the obscure and rare titles section, along with a superlative review. Subsequent attempts to track the title down were in vain, until I popped into El Corte Ingles on my most recent Spanish holiday and found it on Filmax's "Giallo" collection under the title "El Mujer Del Lago". This is the only DVD outing I've ever heard of and there were both pros (a fantastic anamorphic print) and cons (it's Spanish and Italian only, with Spanish subs) - the cons apply as I'm an English speaker, but I was able to manage enough Spanish (with my dictionary at hand) to navigate through this beautiful, atmospheric film in Spanish with subs showing. It's as good as it's advance word suggests - an ice cool, incredibly shot mood piece which emerges as a giallo only in hindsight, as at the time it was filmed, the concept hadn't been formed and we were still four years away from the giallo cycle proper which was initiated by the box office success of Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plummage" and Martino's "The Case of the Scorpion's Tail" amongst others. The plot: A writer returns to the small town where he had vacationed previously. he's keen to meet up with his former maid, Tilde, with whom he had enjoyed a romance previously. However, she isn't there and the locals are not keen on talking about why. As he goes through the town, casual encounters build up an atmosphere of menace as everyone seems to be brushing her untimely death under the carpet. The writer presses on in his investigations, seeking the facts behind her death and finding an awful lot of problems lying beneath the town's impassive surface, but in doing so unleashes the pitch black heart of darkness that lies within this film's conclusion. In terms of style, this is far away from the post-Argento iconography of the giallo. There are no black leather gloved killers here, no stalk and slash killings. All of the (physical) violence occurs off camera. But this remains one of the most claustrophobic, oppressive films of it's time. Much of the drama unfolds within the walls of the hotel, with flashbacks, fantasies and the present unfolding in this space. The film it feels most like is Renais' "Last year At marienbad", but with a more defined narrative. I suspect a lot of the time shifts come from co-screenwriter Gulio Questi, who would later return to the editing styles shown here in his own films such as "Django Kill... If you live, shoot!". Bazzoni contributes his unnerving eye for architecture as counterpoint and subtext to the story (he's on a par with Michael Mann in this respect). This is a film about love, all types of love, from the casual to the obsessive, and the film gradually cranks up the tension until the conclusion. I hope that a wider audience will be able to embrance this with a DVD release from an outfit such as No Shame or Blue Underground. In the meantime, I'd advise anyone who cares about atmospheric horror/ thriller cinema to pick up the Spanish release, which can be had for a remarkable price (I paid €8.95).

Reviewed by gengar843 6 / 10 / 10

Too little to chew on

First, let's get this out of the way... there are no zombies! No zombie-like characters. No people under the mysterious influence. It's a simple murder mystery with lots of intentional confusion. Second, let me be pretentious for a minute. The dream scenes were stylish, but overwrought. The plot was thin and padded. Characters went nowhere. OK, so what's so great? Honestly, I don't know what to tell you. The acting wasn't first-rate. The locations were passable. The directing was scattershot. The ending was too pat. But... if you didn't read this review first, you might think you were to see a ghost story. So, from that point of view, it's both tense and a letdown. Tense, because you're waiting for the kick in the gut, a letdown because it's just another mad hatter on the loose. Now, I saw the 82m cut, not the purported 95m, so maybe there were some boffo scenes that I missed. Probably not. Hey, is it "proto-giallo"? I watched "Four Flies on Grey Velvet" right before this, so I'll say "maybe." 1965 isn't exactly "proto."

Reviewed by Bezenby 6 / 10 / 10

Worst Club 18-30 resort ever

This early giallo has the look of Bazzoni's later The Fifth Cord and the mood of his last film Footprints On the Moon, and once again the director impresses with a mix of noir-ish visuals and people thinking a lot. Bernardo is a burned out writer who, following a failed relationship, heads to a hotel on the edge of a lake where he was once infatuated with a maid named Tilde. He plans to take their relationship further, but only if he can find her. He should have probably asked where she was while he was on the phone booking a room because it turns out that Tilde committed suicide the previous winter. Maybe he booked through Trivago or something and didn't get the chance to speak to a real person. Someone in town confides in Bernardo that there's a rumour going around town that as well as ingesting poison Tilde must also have accidentally slashed her own neck with a knife too, which sets off Bernardo on a quest to find out what really happened to this woman he was technically stalking. Seriously - at one point we get a flashback to Bernardo spying on Tilde getting some from a mysterious horny stranger. The mystery deepens as certain characters in the hotel start behaving strangely. First off there's the owner's daughter Irma, who is upset that the family's reputation is shattered, then there's her brother Mario and his weird wife who barely talks and walks around the lake at midnight, then there's the owner himself, whose happy, servile façade begins to slip as Bernardo goes snooping around the place. Although there's not a lot of action in this one the general moodiness of the piece is cranked way up. Just like the brilliant Fifth Cord, Bazzoni uses light sources a lot here and often has his actors standing in front of harsh lighting, saving the weirdest light tricks for when Bernardo is either fantasising about the suspects motives or having one of many vivid dreams. There's quite a lot to compare to Footprints on the Moon as well, with one lonely character in a deserted holiday resort trying to figure some strange puzzle out. For a really early giallo, and for Bazzoni's debut, this is a slick, well made film. It would be a good double-bill with Libido and The Third Eye (an early giallo with all the nastiness in place).

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