Also known as: The Full Treatment (original title)
Release Date: October, 1960 (UK)
Directed by: Val Guest
Written by: Val Guest, Ronald Scott Thorn
Based on: The Full Treatment by Ronald Scott Thorn
Music by: Stanley Black
Cast: Claude Dauphin, Diane Cilento, Ronald Lewis
Falcon, Hilary, Hammer Films, 108 Minutes, 93 Minutes (cut), 107 Minutes (Screen Gems print)
“Tesoro, I’ve lied for you but never to you.” – Denise Colby
This is a very noir-esque horror flick from Hammer, who were mostly known for their colorful, opulent adaptations of classic literary monsters.
Films like this weren’t outside of Hammer’s area of expertise, however, as I’ve discovered multiple films like this over the years and most recently, in a beefy Blu-ray box set I purchased a few months back.
So the story follows a married couple that had just survived a car accident. The husband, at one point, loses control and tries to strangle the wife. He then decides to get help from a psychiatrist to figure out why he has this impulse to murder her.
After some time, it’s revealed that there was a moment during the car crash where the husband believed he had killed his wife and since then, he’s subconsciously had this urge to fulfill what he thought was reality for a brief moment in time.
The doctor then visits the home of the couple the next day. The wife is missing and it appears that the husband murdered her even though the doctor considered him cured. However, the doctor is a total bastard that is in love with the wife and is now using the husband’s greatest fear about himself to make him actually go insane, so the doctor can swoop in and take the man’s wife.
It’s a complicated plot with many layers and some solid twists but I wouldn’t call it unpredictable or anything. Still, it’s entertaining and engaging.
Additionally, the performances are pretty good and the film has a good atmosphere. I also found the climax to be pretty satisfying.
Now this isn’t Hammer’s best film in this style but it’s still a cool movie that is worth a watch if you’re into these sort of stories.
Pairs well with: other Hammer horror films that are more grounded in reality.