Frenzy

Frenzy ★★★★

The fascinating thing about Frenzy is what Alfred Hithcock chooses to show and what he chooses not to show. Frenzy is rightfully remembered as the most explicit Hitchcock effort and it still has the visceral power to shock now, however, Hitchcock occasionally, and fascinatingly in one scene, chooses to pull his camera back and drift into the London streets rather than show what horrible crime is occurring. He shows one rape-murder scene in graphic detail, and for the second he pulls his camera out of the way.

It is this authorial control that makes Frenzy, even with its languors and slow-pacing, so watchable and so memorable. It is unlike most films in his filmography, while being almost a culmination of his murder pictures. It has a sleazy edge, a grime-aesthetic and dark sense of humour. I am not sure all of its coalesces, and it obviously has a streak of misogyny running through it a mile-wide. But, it is a fine film; well-made, exciting, creepy built on great technical filmmaking. A late-period Hitchcock that is well-worth seeing, and showed that the old-man still had plenty to offer as he entered the 1970s.

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