Fright (1956)

Fright (1956) movie poster

director W. Lee Wilder
viewed: 10/23/2015

“Just relax and we’ll have another look at your subconscious,” intones Eric Fleming as Dr. James Hamilton to the oddly touched Ann Summers (the lovely Nancy Malone) in W. Lee Wilder’s obscure but interesting 1956 thriller Fright.  Summers, triggered by accidental hypnotic suggestion, starts believing herself the reincarnation of the Baroness Mary Vetsera, seeking the reincarnation of her lover, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (for background check out Wikipedia’s page on the “Mayerling Incident”, a real life inspiration for this past life regression.)

In better hands than W. Lee Wilder and his son, screenwriter Myles Wilder, this stuff could have perhaps evolved into something downright Hitchcockian.

No, instead it takes the element of the serial killer, the intended target of the hypnotic suggestion, and makes absurd logic jumps rather than sewing something together with any real believability. It’s kind of a shame, because this one this one had something interesting at heart in it, though maybe only a really tiny morsel.

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