My top-ten horror films #9

9 – THE GHOUL (1975)

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God knows how I got away with it, but I remember very clearly staying up to watch the horror double bills that played on BBC 2 on Saturday nights. Maybe my parents were unusually liberal; maybe I watched from the stairs… but anyway, I was just eleven years old in 1980 when I first watched The Ghoul. The BBC would show a black-and-white film before a more lurid, colour broadcast. This particular week, unless I’m mistaken, included the magnificent Night of the Demon before this Peter Cushing feature. I went to bed as scared as I’ve ever been. The Ghoul is definitely my favourite of all the movies of its ilk that appeared from Hammer and Amicus, though this was created by Tyburn Film Productions, and was one of only three horror films made during its lifespan. Cushing is excellent as the tortured father to the thing in the attic. John Hurt plays a wonderfully creepy gardener. Very violent. Very red. Those sandals… that dog bowl… A film that really got under my skin.

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