P S Y C H O T R O N I C • Horror
1977 • Italy • Directed by Mario Bava
In a career spanning four decades and encompassing virtually every genre under the sun, Mario Bava inspired multiple generations of filmmakers, from Dario Argento to Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton. Best remembered for his gothic horror movies, for his final feature, Shock, he eschewed the grand guignol excesses of Black Sabbath or Blood and Black Lace for a more intimate portrait of mental breakdown in which true horror comes from within.
Dora (Daria Nicolodi, Deep Red) moves back into her old family home with her husband, Bruno (John Steiner, Tenebrae), and Marco (David Colin Jr., Beyond the Door), her young son from her previous marriage. But domestic bliss proves elusive as numerous strange and disturbing occurrences transpire, while Dora is haunted by a series of nightmares and hallucinations, many of them involving her dead former husband. Is the house itself possessed? Or does Dora’s increasingly fragile grip on reality originate from somewhere far closer to home?
Released in the United States as a sequel to Ovidio G. Assonitis’s Beyond the Door, Shock more than lives up to its name, proving that, even at this late stage in his career, Bava hadn’t lost his touch for terror. Now restored in high definition for the first time, the Maestro of the Macabre’s chilling swansong disturbs like never before.
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