Symptoms

1974

Horror

2
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 1265

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 17, 2021 at 12:44 PM

720p.BLU
837.16 MB
992*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by drownnnsoda 9 / 10

Brooding, mysterious horror film

"Symptoms" follows a paper-thin plot line that details a woman who invites a girlfriend to her remote mansion for the weekend, but her true motives come into focus as something far more sinister than imagined. Originally screened at the Cannes Film Festival, "Symptoms" inexplicably became a lost a film in the ensuing years, until being unearthed and re-released on Blu-ray for the twenty-first century.

To put it plainly, if you're looking for a film where things "happen," then look elsewhere. This is a film that never quite entirely gets onto its feet, and instead wallows in its own mysteriousness and atmosphere—and the atmosphere is laid on thick. The camera meditates on the foggy England backwoods, the swampy lake that holds dark secrets, and the dilapidated mansion that is quite literally engulfed in trees and foliage. If nothing else, "Symptoms" is a mood piece, and a fantastic one at that.

Given its sparse scripting, the film demands top-notch acting from its performers, and the audience gets as much with Angela Pleasence in the lead role of the mysterious, violent hostess. She is vulnerable and simultaneously terrifying, and has a compelling screen presence. Lorna Heilbron matches Pleasence as the seductive and insouciant house guest.

Writer-director José Ramón Larraz, who is perhaps best known for his over-the-top lesbian vampire flick "Vampyres," has a consistent style established with this film, and his vision comes across on screen very strongly. Given his notoriety for the aforementioned film, the natural expectation I had for this was along the lines of an exploitation film, but it is far, far from it—it's actually a classy, quiet, and ominous meditation on broken femininity, at times evoking Robert Altman's "Images" or 1971's "Let's Scare Jessica to Death." It is part horror film and part psychological character study, moving along in that order; after the first dramatic scene of violence, the film and its heroine unravel before the audience, and the result is nothing short of compelling.

Overall, "Symptoms" is a phenomenal and under-appreciated horror film. Its status as a lost film has no doubt robbed it of the wider contemporary audience it deserves, but hopefully the re-release of it will attract modern genre fans. I was blown away by the nuance and all-around skillfulness of it. It's a quietly spooky and wildly atmospheric film that is well-acted and well-shot. Truly something to behold for fans of understated cinema. 9/10.

Reviewed by HumanoidOfFlesh 10 / 10

Jose Ramon Larraz's mysterious horror film.

First of all I love pretty explicit and audacious lesbian vampire flick "Vampyres"(1974),but more rare and obscure "Symptoms" is even better and certainly different in tone.It's a very subtle,calm and restrained horror film with plenty of mysterious atmosphere.Helen Ramsey arrives back from Switzerland to her old-fashioned family home,accompanied by a friend Ann West.It quickly becomes clear that Helen suffers from a nervous disposition.At night both Helen and Ann hear voices in the house and Helen seems convinced that there is something in the attic,a trap door to which is in the ceiling in a corner of her room."Symptoms" is a genuinely frightening horror film about a woman slowly slipping completely into madness.The cinematography is striking,the interior sets are terrifyingly dark and the acting by Angela Pleasence is fantastic.I fell in love with this film and can't praise it enough.

Reviewed by parry_na 9 / 10

Spoilers follow ...

This film relies very much upon its tiny cast, so the importance of its casting cannot be underestimated. Spanish Director José Ramón Larraz, the often volatile personality who went on to direct cult classic 'Vampyres' the same year, selected an ensemble that could hardly have been bettered.

Considered a lost film since its last showing on television in 1983, this carefully paced, deeply atmospheric tale is only beginning to find a new level of appreciation since its rediscovery. Peter Vaughn, often cast as 'heavies' at the time, is quietly menacing as Brady, the 'odd job man'. Lorna Leilbron, who was so good in 'The Creeping Flesh' plays Anne, eminently sensible and unflappable. And, providing her usual extraordinary performance, Angel Pleasance plays Helen, who lives in her huge inherited estate in the middle of secluded English countryside, convalescing from some undisclosed breakdown and yet still clearly suffering. Whilst not quite as other-worldly as she was in 'From Beyond the Grave' earlier in the year, her more subtle playing of quiet madness reveals itself as the story plays on.

The direction is sedate and restrained by Larraz's standards, yet drenched in doomy, sinister atmosphere. Even a scene as seemingly innocent as Helen sitting alone in the spacious living room, darkened by the heavy clouds outside, the windows buffeted by the storm, is oppressive and unnerving.

The story-line is thin and it comes as a huge non-surprise to find the deranged killer on Anne and other sundry characters is Helen. And yet the fact that Brady is too obviously a red herring (although hardly unimpeachable) doesn't disappoint because Pleasance plays it so fascinatingly well.

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