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THE SPIRITUALIST
aka THE AMAZING MR. X
1948, Sony Repertory, 78 min, USA, Dir: Bernard Vorhaus

A phony medium (Turhan Bey, in a supremely slippery performance) convinces a gullible widow (Lynn Bari) that he can communicate with her late husband. This hugely entertaining thriller (the lighter side of NIGHTMARE ALLEY) is one of the least-seen and under-appreciated of cinematographer John Alton's many noir masterworks. With Cathy O'Donnell and Richard Carlson.


THE INVISIBLE MAN
2020, Universal, 124 min, Australia/USA, Dir: Leigh Whannell

What you can’t see can hurt you. In this terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic monster character, Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) is trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Finally she escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid). But when Cecilia’s abusive ex commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.


KWAIDAN
1965, Janus Films, 160 min, Japan, Dir: Masaki Kobayashi

After more than a decade of sober political dramas and socially minded period pieces, the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi shifted gears dramatically for this rapturously stylized quartet of ghost stories. Featuring colorfully surreal sets and luminous cinematography, these haunting tales of demonic comeuppance and spiritual trials, adapted from writer Lafcadio Hearn’s collections of Japanese folklore, are existentially frightening and meticulously crafted.


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