• “A benchmark horror film laced with heavy elements of film noir, Les diaboliques (better known as Diabolique in America) is arguably the most important genre film of the 1950s, a razor-sharp thriller that paved the way for Psycho and subsequent shock-driven films that remain popular today,” explains the review at Mondo Digital, which goes on to describe Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique, starring Simone Signoret and Paul Meurisse, as “an impeccably crafted film and one for the history books.” The Baltimore Sun’s Michael Sragow writes, almost as though in response to Mondo Digital, “Diabolique deserves to be seen not just as a goad to Hitchcock and a precursor to Psycho but as a suspense milestone in its own right . . . Despite the flood of imitations that followed (including Hitchcock’s), Diabolique hasn’t lost its clamminess or its fright quotient.”

    Other critics are also all too happy to plunge into the murky depths of this classic, out now on Criterion Blu-ray and DVD. According to the Boston Globe’s Tom Russo, “Clouzot enjoyed a career high point with the groundbreaking thriller . . . The film hasn’t lost its dark impact, and Signoret’s clipped performance remains especially entertaining. You can almost see her rolling her eyes at the world behind her Ray-Bans.” Paper’s Dennis Dermody hails “this fabulous French thriller,” adding, “This new digital transfer is perfection, as is the movie itself.” Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly calls it “Clouzot’s greatest thriller,” reminding readers, “You’re in for a hell of a final twist. No wonder Hitchcock was jealous.” And Glenn Erickson exclaims in DVD Talk, “Clouzot’s picture is the real deal, a genuine horror classic . . . This is a gem, with an ending to savor.”

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