The last three minutes just ruined this for me. I give it to Clouzot: the mood here is spot on and there is serious mastery at work in the mise-en-scène. But in the end it feels like a gimmick, pure and simple - we were just being tricked, and as we learn the truth the film loses all of its significance and charm.
Still the most effective "we lost the dead body" thriller that is made. The ending still kicks a punch in the gut even if I know how it ends and show how normal contact eye lenses can scare more than a million made up monsters. Vera Clouzot is also so gorgeously vulnerable in this movie it is hard not to love her. Only the police investigator appearing at the end feels like a forced after-thought to the movie.
The last 10 minutes took this from a 4 to a 5 and back down to a 4 in my mind. There's so much there and, to mirror what others have said about ambiguity, I feel it would have been infinitely more thought-provoking had the ending been left more open. Alas. Still a gem of a film, with a knot of tension at its core directors have been trying to replicate for decades.
Une splendide oeuvre vénéneuse et intemporelle qui se regarde chaque fois avec un plaisir accru et un délicieux frisson rétrospectif. On se souviendra longtemps de la fameuse scène anthologique de la "résurrection" de Paul Meurisse hors de la baignoire. www.cinefiches.com
at first, a character Véra Clouzot plays was really annoying to watch, made me want to slap her hard and it was put a great deal of shadow of horrible judgement about this movie. After a while, I began to think, damn, it's the whole point, right? And that's exactly moment I love Diabolique instantly. Anyway, I'm afraid its way better than any Hitchcock's suspenses.
'Diabolique' now feels familiar, it's no longer novel to have us follow and sympathise with victims plotting a murder. Here the layering builds mystery, as we slowly understand the dynamics and the extent of the crime; it still seems remarkable to have such an open understanding between the wife and her husband's lover. So I admire but don't adore - a little slow, a little unsurprising for today's expectations.
The original twist! 'Diabolique' went where no film had gone before (at the time), telling its viewers a story, only revealing tot them in the last few moments that an entirely different story was being told the whole time. The idea of such a dramatic plot twist, a complete 180° turnaround from the perceived understanding of events, was unheard of at the time, and in fact paved the way for so many films to come...↓