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The first sound-film by one of the greatest of all filmmakers, Carl Theodor Dreyer, is akin to a waking-dream; guiding the viewer on a trance-like journey between reality and the supernatural.
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
Traveller Allan Gray (arrestingly depicted by Julian West, aka the secretive real-life Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg) arrives at a countryside inn seemingly beckoned by haunted forces. His growing acquaintance with the family who reside there soon opens up a network of uncanny associations between the dead and the living, of ghostly lore and demonology, which pull Gray ever deeper into an unsettling, and upsetting, mystery.
Even more experimental than the director's previous film (The Passion of Joan of Arc), the camerawork, cutting, sound, dialogue and overall narrative seem intended to render everything not only profoundly unsettling but ultimately inexplicable. As such the protagonist's experiences at the sinister chateau are as nightmarishly strange as anything in a Lynch movie; suffused with a pallid, cloudy grey, the world of shadowy beings and deathly visions feels as eerily intangible as it is terrifying. Ranked joint 146th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll
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