HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deeper You Dig, The
Trouble Brewing
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Beast In The Cellar, The
Year: 1971
Director: James Kelley
Stars: Flora Robson, Beryl Reid, Tessa Wyatt, John Hamill, T.P. McKenna, Chris Chittell
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: During army manoeuvres on a remote English moor a soldier is murdered by an unknown assailant, a murder so vicious that the investigating officer surmises it can only be the work of a ferocious beast. But this is just the first in a series of bloodthirsty killings, which distress two lonely spinsters who live on the moor in their isolated home. One of the soldiers is their friend and they fear for his safety. But is there another reason for their reaction? Surely these two harmless old women could not be in any way connected to the violent events?

Playing as it does with the myth of an unknown animal that stalks the moor, a myth which can be found in various rural communities throughout the British Isles, The Beast in the Cellar is a quintessentially British horror movie. The old house, the eccentric but seemingly harmless characters, the stiff-upper lipped military types, these are just some of the elements which will be familiar to British audiences. Also familiar to viewers will be the sisters, Joyce and Ellie, portrayed as they are by two well known faces from the British film and television industry, Flora Robson and Beryl Reid.

Robson plays Joyce, the more dominant of the two, a woman who has had to reluctantly take the more controlling, responsible role. A woman who, in one key scene reveals that she should have had a different life, a husband, children etc, but certain events have forced her to remain in the family home. Ellie (Reid) her sister is also her opposite, a child-like woman who is content to live a deluded existence, as if everything is normal, constantly reminiscing about the good times she had as a child with father. The balance of power between the two is interesting and expertly played by these experienced actors. Reid brings a lighter, slightly comic touch to her role, seemingly an innocent whereas Robson convincingly portrays the sister who has the heavy burden of responsibility weighing her down. They live in a timeless world of monotonous routine, a world dominated by village gossip, a world that is cut off from the wider reality of modern life. The boring repetition of their lives is well realised, and their home does have the sort of banal atmosphere tinged with underlying eeriness that has been effectively employed in various horror movies before and since.

However, as with some of the other British horror movies of the time the direction is average, there is little suspense generated and a very low violence quota. The film does feel quite low budget and the score is forgettable. The acting from the supporting players leaves a lot to be desired. Although some pleasure may be gained from seeing Robin’s Nest star Tessa Wyatt in a nurse’s uniform and a young soldier who bares an uncanny resemblance to Emmerdale resident Eric Pollard! The major flaw in the film is really its title. It reveals too much too early about the plot. It would have probably been more interesting to give the movie a more ambiguous moniker.

Coming across like an extended episode of Tales Of The Unexpected, The Beast in the Cellar is, in the main, an unexceptional slice of seventies British horror. Some of the acting is rather wooden; the flashbacks to the sisters’ childhood shoddily done and the final revelation pretty unbelievable, giving the film a, slightly surreal, anti-war statement. All in all the film does hold your interest. This is in part due to the lead actors, and the fact that nagging curiosity compels you to find out exactly what is going on. What is the final revelation going to be, or rather, have you guessed it correctly?
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

This review has been viewed 10910 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

James Kelley  (1931 - 1978)

British director who made two horror films in the early seventies – the rural chiller Beast in the Cellar and Italian psychological thriller Diabólica Malicia, aka Night Hair Child, co-directed with Andrea Bianchi.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: