James Wan Calls This Free-To-Watch Chiller “An eerily atmospheric and beautiful film”

James Wan
DEATH SENTENCE, director James Wan, on set, 2007. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved/courtesy Everett Collection

Director James Wan has demonstrated an impeccable ability to craft atmosphere in his cinematic output. So, when he takes to social media to champion a flick he says works as “an eerily atmospheric and beautiful film despite the small budget,” you know our curiosity is piqued.

The picture in question is The City of the Dead (1960). The feature was also released under the title Horror Hotel. In addition to an enthusiastic endorsement from Wan, the film also has the impressive distinction of starring Christopher Lee.

Wan took to Instagram singing the film’s praises. Saying, in part, “They truly don’t make movies like this anymore. With a specific style of that era (mainly due to budget and production limitations) — the aesthetic of being shot entirely inside a soundstage with the fog machine cranked all the way up, would be deemed “cheesy” by today’s standard, but boy, this is my kind of the perfect horror film (along with Mario Bava’s Black Sunday). Something I dabbled in for Dead Silence, and wish to revisit one day. Basically, I just want to do an old-school Hammer Horror Film… but with Lovecraft.”

Also Read: ‘Saw’ Director Praises Nicolas Cage Horror-Comedy As “Terrific” and “So much fun”

I’ve had this one on my watchlist for ages. And I am going to make it a point to watch it as soon as possible. It’s on Tubi, after all. So, what have I got to lose?

The setup is as follows: Young college student Nan Barlow (Venetia Stevenson) arrives in the sleepy Massachusetts town of Whitewood to research witchcraft. Nan’s stay at the eerie Raven’s Inn takes a portentous turn when she learns its proprietor Mrs. Newless (Patricia Jessel) is the reincarnation of a witch burned at the stake in 1692. The discovery unravels the startling truth about the town: that it is really a coven of witches who have a sinister plan to sacrifice humans so that they can become immortal.

Stay tuned to the site for more recommendations from the masters as we uncover them. And be sure to follow us on Twitter so you never miss an update.



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