31 Days of Horror: The Seventh Victim

Producer Val Lewton managed to make some of the more interesting horror movies of the 1940's. He went for a more ominous approach to the stories rather the lets show everything approach that Hollywood typically makes.

The Seventh Victim (1943) is almost a precursor to Rosemary's Baby. Young Kim Hunter goes to the big city to look for her sister Jean Brooks who has disappeared. Hunter finds the apartment Brooks has rented empty, except for a chair and noose. With the help of psychiatrist Tom Conway (who's playing the same character he played in Lewton's earlier masterpiece Cat People) Hunter discovers that her sister is involved with a group of Satanists.

Stylishly shot with a dark foreboding feel, The Seventh Victim is easily my favorite of Val Lewton's productions and there are quite a few excellent ones. The ending is a shocker and is definitely in contradiction to the Production Code that governed and censored movies then. How they got away with it - I'll never know.

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