The Innocents vs. The Night of the Hunter

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Two children and a screwed-up guardian. Both scary. Both Southern gothic, but in different ways. The Innocents have Truman Capotes touches to add to the atmosphere of unsettling transgression. The Night of the Hunter is set in and around the area. Although the imagery in The Night of the Hunter is the more impressive - with it's expressionist touches and odd performances, I prefer The Innocents for its dark, scary, disturbingness.

I guess I was way too hyped up over The Night of the Hunter, because it really fell flat for me. Mitchum was scary, but not as scary as he was in Cape Fear. Some of the expressionist touches worked, but others seemed disjointed from the rest of the movie ... the kids' song as they fled, for example. My favorite thing about the film was Lillian Gish's performance, bless her soul. The Innocents is beautifully filmed and Kerr gives an impressive central performance (and I like the child actors better here too). It's not as scary as its source material, James's The Turn of the Screw ... up until the end, which is terrifying! I give this to The Innocents as well.