Directed by Mark Robson [Other horror films: Isle of the Dead (1945), Bedlam (1946)]
This is an odd little film that more feels like a cult-based thriller than it does a horror. It’s not a bad movie, and the mystery is a bit interesting, but boy, even as far as 1940’s horror goes, The Seventh Victim probably only just squeezes in, at least in my opinion.
What works really well about this movie is the dense atmosphere. Tracking a missing person through a city, following multiple leads, hearing different stories, and eventually leading to a Satanic cult makes for a somewhat fun film, and certainly engaging at times.
I just didn’t think that too much of it was that memorable. In the moment, sure, you have some creepy vibes and a somewhat engrossing (if not a bit involved) story, but once the credits come up, I don’t think it takes that long for much of the material to fall out of memory.
The performances here were all fine, though honestly, as competent as they were (Tom Conway, Kim Hunter, Jean Brooks being among the best), no one here blows me away at all. Perhaps it’s just that the story, despite being only 70 minutes, felt a bit overlong, or maybe the cult wasn’t entirely convincing, but it just didn’t wow me.
The Seventh Victim had the atmosphere that was commendable, but it definitely felt more like a mystery/thriller than it did a horror, and that may have caused this to drag a bit more than you might expect from the off-set. It’s a 40’s movie that’s probably still worth giving a view, but there are plenty of other films from the decade (such as Bedlam, The Body Snatcher, The Leopard Man, You’ll Find Out) that I’d go to first.