There is a moment near the end of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s suspense thriller Diabolique that remains one of the most frightening ever put on film. It’s the inverse of a scene that takes place near the beginning — a scene alluded to in this off-kilter Criterion art. We’re not giving anything away by saying that film’s plot is set in motion when the headmaster of a French boarding school is murdered by his wife and his mistress, who drown him in his bathtub. The red, white and black colors, the skewed angles, the very violence of the image — it all works together in a maximally unsettling fashion.
Next Modern Times (1936)