Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Leave her to Heaven

Leave her to Heaven is not a horror film.  The best way to describe it would be "Technicolor Film Noir".  No, that doesn't make any sense, but it works.  Leave her to Heaven stars the beautiful Gene Tierney as Ellen, a socialite with an unhealthy obsession with her dead father.  To say she has "daddy issues" is an understatement.  Bitch is crazy.

Ellen falls in love with Novelist Richard Harland at first site.  He reminds her of her recently deceased father.  It doesn't matter than she is already engaged to up and coming attorney Russell Quinton (Vincent Price-awesome as always).  Ellen decides she is going to have Richard and doesn't give him (or Russell) much of a choice in the matter.  Before you know it they are married and that's when the crazy starts.

Ellen wants Richard all to herself.  No one else can be around.  No servants, not her family (A mother and adopted sister who know she is crazy, but are so scared of Ellen they don't warn Richard), and not Richard's crippled younger brother Danny.  Richard loves Danny, much more than he loves Ellen. In the best scene in the film,  Ellen lets young Danny drown in a lake.  This sequence is chilling and very well done.  Watching it you know what is going to happen, but you keep thinking Ellen will come to her senses and save young Danny.  Not going to happen.  Ellen tells Richard it was an accident.  He is devastated and although he believes her, he begins to draw away.

In an effort to win back his love, Ellen becomes pregnant.  Richard is happy again, but once Ellen realizes the baby will take Richard's attention, she throws herself down the stairs.  She loses the baby and Richard starts to become more and more withdrawn...

He also starts to fall in love with her adopted sister, who is not cray cray.  As you can imagine Ellen is very unhappy with this turn of events as sets into motion a plot that is her most sinister yet!  And it involves Vincent Price!

Ellen is not really evil.  She is mentally unbalanced and in desperate need of medication, but she is not evil.  She does evil things which she justifies in her mind as acts of love.  Tierney is incredible in this film.  She is deceitful and clearly off her rocker, yet you feel for her.  She just wants this man all to herself.  Is that really so much to ask?  Creepy and stylish, with melodrama to spare, Leave her to Heaven is definitely a film to check out. 

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