Noir or Gothic? Horror or Noir? 7th or Seventh? Doesn’t matter! It’s all good —
Classic Noir: The 7th Victim (1943)
I know what you’re thinking: isn’t thatSupernaturalNoir? While the Val Lewton productionThe Seventh Victimis usually referred to as a horror film, I think it’s really much more clearly noir. What confuses people are the trappings of horror – and of course the horror chops of Lewton, who produced some of the finest 40s horror with director Jacques Tourneur includingCat People (1942)andI Walked with a Zombie (1943), although even the clearly supernatural films always had some uncertainty whether people just might have overactive imagination. The danger was often enough from the humans and the later films really focused on people’s depravity.
The 7thVictim(always with the number in publicity) skates along that edge of the supernatural. While the original story pitched by Charles O’Neal, inspired by the title Lewton chose, focused on a serial…
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