Janet is a young woman who attends a private school in the countryside. Unfortunately Janet is haunted by terrifying dreams in which she sees herself becoming locked up in a insane asylum just like her mother. At a young and tender age Janet witnessed her mother brutally murder her father and she has been becoming more and more paranoid and delusional every day as a result. Sent home from the private school in an effort to curb Janet's impending psychosis, Janet continues to be haunted by visions of her mother, fearing she is headed down a similar path. Freddie Francis' Nightmare is an expertly crafted mystery/thriller that keeps the viewer guessing from start to finish. The first thing that stands out about Nightmare is its beautifully realized aesthetic. Featuring crisp black and white cinematography, atmospheric lighting, and compositions that exude atmosphere and suspense, Nightmare creates a truly creepy aesthetic that's very unsettling. The transitions between Janet's nightmares and reality are seamless, which effectively and intentionally makes it hard on the viewer to decipher whether what they are witnessing is reality or simply the work of damaged mind. Nightmare's narrative is full of twists and turns but never convoluted. Throughout the film I thought I knew where Nightmare was going only for it to change direction, going against almost all of my preconceived ideas of the film's intentions. Freddie Francis' Nightmare is an under-appreciated film, that should be sought out by any fans of Hitchcock, as I believe this fan stands side-by-side with some of his best work.
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