The Masque of the Red Death (1964) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Masque of the Red Death (1964) Review

Horrorific content by DemonicThrasher on April 19th, 2022 | Movie Review | Featured Classic, Folk Horror, Classic Mystery

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A classic Vincent Price Horror based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

The Masque of the Red Death was directed by Roger Corman (who also directed Frankenstein Unbound, The Tomb Of Ligeia and The Haunted Palace) and stars Vincent Price (from Dead Heat, From A Whisper To A Scream and Bloodbath At The House Of Death), Hazel Court (from The RavenThe Premature Burial and Doctor Blood's Coffin) and David Weston (from Witchcraft).

Horror has a face.

The Masque of the Red Death Review (1964)

Vincent Price plays Prince Prospero in The Masque of the Red Death, the gothic tale based on the short stories by famed horror poet Edgar Allen Poe. Directed by Roger Corman, the film is a stylish, bright horror film, expected of this era of films. While the film would be considered to be tame by today's standards, it still gives an eerie tone of dread, and fear, along with the mystery surrounding the red death. The film really captivates its audience with the dynamics of the poor towns at the beginning to the big rich halls of the castle. Each room of the castle is painted all in a different colour, a yellow room, a purple room, a red room, and the mysterious black room, all with its own story. This also adds to the dynamics of the big, bright, wealthy castle of Prospero, to the downtrodden villages nearby. Despite the big open scenes of the castle, the film really generates an isolated feel, making you feel trapped. Vincent Price delivers a career best performance as Prince Prospero, a cruel and evil tyrant who enjoys humiliating others as a form of entertainment. Alongside Vincent Price, the film has an impressive cast, including Hazel Court as Juilina, Jane Asher as Francesca, a poverty-ridden woman that the Prince has taken to the castle to convert her faith. The film is not all perfect though, with some parts being horribly outdated, such as overdubbing a child actress’ voice with that of an older woman to give the impression of a woman with dwarfism. While this isn't a major flaw, and doesn’t affect the film in any way, it is a little off putting the first time you watch it, if you aren't a fan of overdubs in media. Due to when the film released, there is no gore, or on screen death, with the victims of the Red Death been shown by having themselves painted red. While this isn’t off putting, or even an issue, fans of gore in the horror genre will most likely be put off by this fact and would be better looking for something else to watch.

Worth Watching?

The Masque of the Red Death is a fantastic horror film that combines the works of Poe with the talent of Vincent Price, truly captivating what an evil man would do to avoid his fate. This film is definitely worth a watch if you are a fan of gothic horror.

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