Directed by Terence Fisher [Other horror films: Three’s Company (1953, episodes ‘The Surgeon’ & ‘ Take a Number’), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959), The Mummy (1959), The Stranglers of Bombay (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Horror of It All (1964), The Gorgon (1964), The Earth Dies Screaming (1964), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), Island of Terror (1966), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), Night of the Big Heat (1967), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)]
Better known under it’s American title The Devil’s Bride, this is a classic Satanist film that certainly has it’s place, but apparently, after seeing it twice, it’s place isn’t with me.
The movie’s not a bad movie. I just don’t care about a lot of it. Trying to keep two people safe from a Satanic cult has the potential to be a good movie, no doubt, but I was, more than anything, somewhat bored sitting through this, which is a shame given the film looks quite nice and has a solid cast.
Christopher Lee as the main character was a nice touch, and I sort of enjoyed his regal outrage at a friend who got into Satanism. He hates religious freedom it seems, but it was still nice to see such a popular face here. Charles Gray was fine as the lead Satanist, but I never got an overwhelming thrill from him.
Leon Greene was pretty good as a loyal friend of Lee’s and I thought he character played well off Lee’s as a more action-oriented individual. Patrick Mower (who plays the young friend that gets involved in some Satanic bois) was okay, but I wanted to know a bit more about him, and we never really do. Nike Arrighi was also decent, but again, we didn’t really know her character, so it made it hard to really care about after a certain point.
The special effects are okay. Perhaps the best scene is when four of the protagonists are protected within a circle and various visions are being flung at them, hoping to scare or coax them out of the protection, including a little girl being attacked by a giant tarantula, a horseman of death or something like that, and a knocking on the door from a supposed friend. Lee keeps his head throughout the scene though, and it doesn’t really keep that suspenseful feel going.
Overall, this just isn’t a film that much impresses or amuses me. I was probably a little lenient on it the first time I saw it, but after seeing it again, The Devil Rides Out just doesn’t do it for me.
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