Tales of Terror

Tales of Terror ★★★½

I love the approach taken here, delivering some classic Poe stories as an anthology film. It’s not excellent as a whole, which is expected, but it still has enough to impress. “Cormella” is lacking overall, but is quite an effective and thrilling section considering how simple it is. Some clever visual tricks and an instantly brooding atmosphere really help it start the film off decently. “The Cat” is easily the strongest here, as it blends comedy and standard Poe horror effortlessly. The humour ranges from slapstick to social critique to simply the outstanding performances from Lorre and Price. And that whole squashed image scene was hilarious. The film’s final story, “M. Valdemar” feels like the most standard of the three, but still displays Corman’s incredible ability to conjure a memorable atmosphere, blending darkness and light to build tension until that crazy good conclusion, which simultaneously ends the film superbly.