Directed by Owen Crump [Other horror films: N/A]
This is a pretty unassuming movie, and I can sort of see why I’ve never heard of this one before (aside from the fact that some refer to it as just a thriller), but it’s a relatively tight story, some solid suspense, and comes across as something of a rough gem. Before I go on, if you’re into 60’s horror and haven’t seen this, I’d recommend checking it out.
From the get-go, we know the killer is Grant Williams, and the film is really a psychological probe into his mental state (plot twist: he’s not particularly the picture of mental health), which is pretty fun, because his physique isn’t really what you’d expect. His killing style, a quick jab with an ice pick, is fun to watch. Just an average guy killing a random person in a crowded area, and you can see why he’d get away with it.
Williams here is great. I don’t really know him, but based off this performance, he might have been able to give a good Norman Bates performance a few years prior in Psycho. The others here, including Shirley Knight, Onslow Stevens, and William Leslie, all do well, but this is really the Grant Williams show, which worked fine for me.
As far as mentally unstable characters go, the one Williams plays is pretty fantastic. He’s completely detached from reality at times, and toward the end, he gives us a really stellar conclusion, and as I mentioned, pretty tense at times also.
Any black-and-white thriller/horror dealing with a psychopath made in the immediate years following Psycho would have a harder time gaining traction, but I’d still recommend giving this one a look. Sure, some aspects are rough, such as occasional camera-work, but The Couch was still a mostly solid film, and I’m glad I took the time with it.