The Oblong Box

  • Film
  • Horror films
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A loose adaptation of Poe's story The Premature Burial, set in 19th century England, with Price as the lord of the manor whose brother (Williamson), kept locked away after being mysteriously mutilated in Africa, escapes and seeks revenge after being inadvertently buried alive in an attempt to spirit him away from prying eyes. The first half-hour or so has a really enigmatic quality as Hessler's camera prowls through the sombre mansion, using subjective camera to convey the alienated and animal-like existence of the strange Sir Edward. By keeping Sir Edward behind the camera for so long, his evil is exaggerated enormously, giving him a kind of sub-human aura long after the device has been discontinued. After this cryptic opening, however, the script rapidly begins to disintegrate (Chris Wicking, alas, is confined to 'additional dialogue'). Begun by Michael Reeves, the film was taken over by Hessler after the former's death.

Release details

Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Gordon Hessler
Screenwriter: Lawrence Huntington, Christopher Wicking
Cast: Vincent Price
Christopher Lee
Alastair Williamson
Hilary Dwyer
Peter Arne
Maxwell Shaw
Michael Balfour
Godfrey James
Rupert Davies
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