One of the most complex tales in cinema? Absolutely. We can invoke Jane Eyre in some vain attempt to help us make sense of the confusion, but all we're truly left with are Tourneur's fluid imagery and editing, a story of paved-over racism and imperialism, psychosis, alcoholism, and repression. It's entirely fair to say that, in 69 minutes, Tourneur said more about the white's legacy in the Caribbean than any other director.
The cinematography and the tone are in such good hands that horror becomes a vicious undercurrent.
A stunning and hypnotic masterpiece whose visual beauty and vivid atmospheric textures rival those of Von Sternberg, Sirk and Welles. Probably Lewton's greatest achievement, and one of the most remarkable genre films ever made in Hollywood.
this film would be awful in color. the black and white really makes the atmosphere extremely creepy/unsettling. the story was unexpected because it's not a traditional "zombie" story, or maybe it is. it's a little unconventional to me which is great. this film is stunning and every horror fan needs to see it!
Six decades before "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," there was this retelling of "Jane Eyre" featuring - you guessed it - zombies. Val Lewton was a shrewd producer who took lurid, sensational titles and turned them into often thoughtful films with great emotional depth, and this love story laced with voodoo is atmospheric and compelling.
Tourneur's low-key, dream-like atmosphere is punctuated by suggestion and inference rather than gore, and whatever else you'd expect from a movie with the word "zombie" in the title. Creepy, distant noises accompany eerie settings in a film which is arguably much less about horror than it is about the difficulties of breaking the barriers between lovers and family. An eccentric approach, and the result is brilliant.