Halloween White Elephant: Les Diaboliques (1955)

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From Brian Salisbury–“Noah watches an unholy amount of shit. Don’t get me wrong, I watch some bad movies myself. But Noah revels in, for example, making his way through the entire National Lampoon’s catalog of direct-to-video garbage. For once, I wanted Noah to watch something of the utmost quality that was still a first-class horror film. Hopefully, he won’t be dismayed by the lack of tits and fart jokes.”

Rumor has it that the film rights for Diabolique were purchased by director Henri-Georges Clouzot mere hours before Alfred Hitchcock had a chance to snap them up. And while I am a fan of Hitchcock’s work, I don’t feel he could possibly outshine Clouzot with the material, as Diaboliqueis an absolute classic and stunning movie.Set in the French countryside at a private boys school run by an abusive headmaster, Michel (Paul Meurisse) and his gorgeous wife Christina (Véra Clouzot). As the school year comes to a holiday break, Christina talks with her husband’s mistress and fellow teacher at the school (how awkward is that?) about how she cannot stand to be with her husband any longer and a plan is hatched to get rid of him. Leaving the schoolhouse on holiday Christina and Nicole (Simone Signore) head to Nicole’s summer house to establish an alibi, as they prepare for Michel’s inevitable arrival where they proceed to drug him and drown him in a tub. It’s not until they return to the school and dump the body in the pool that things take a turn for the worst. When the investigation by the police begins, a more sinister plot reveals itself. Over the course of its run time we’re treated to a complex and thrilling story that takes several unexpected and spooky turns.

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