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The Night of the Hunter

DAY 143: January 23rd, 2009.

The Night Of The Hunter

It surprises me that Laughton has only directed one film...this one. He really did take the whole go out on top motto.

I'm usually hesitant when it comes to films that prominently feature kids, they tend to annoy the hell out of me. In The Night Of The Hunter a preacher learns of a man who hide $10,000 of stolen money. The preacher then marries the wife of the man, who obviously has died and is now in search for the cash.

While the film is good and full of suspense the one key factor that sells it is Mitchum, who is so devishly good as the preacher who preaches love/hate, written on his fingers. Yeah, we know you took it from here Mr. Lee. He's calm cool demeanor and his evil stalking eyes make for a great villain.

The film can be seen as a child's nightmare. Their father figure is gone and a new man enters their lives, seemingly pure and good to others because of the priest facade, but to them, they know the true evil in this man. Of course no one will believe kids over a well respected priest.

The film was riding so high and I loved every minute of it until the last several minutes. Starting with the weird and comedic yelp from Mitchum during the climax of the film. It makes the film lose all tension and suspense. The rest of the film feels clumsy and thrown together, specifically the mob scene. I thought they were coming after the kids for crying out loud. If it weren't for this ending, the film would have been rated higher.