Film Review: Nightmare (Here’s the Knife, Dear: Now Use It) (1963)


Poor Janet.  When she was just a little girl, she watched her mommy stab her daddy to death, and she’s been haunted by nightmares ever since.  She’s also terrified of inheriting her mother’s mental disorder.  To make matters worse, someone is taking advantage of this fact for their own nefarious purpose. 

Nightmare is one of a handful of black & white psychological thrillers released by Britain’s Hammer Films in the ’60s.  It’s beautifully photographed and directed, and the performances are better than usual for Hammer, but it has an uneven script.  The first half builds well, with some genuine suspense and some haunting flashbacks — including a very nice, prolonged stabbing scene.  But Janet’s story resolves at the mid-point and the story shifts focus.  The second half patterns itself after the first, and since the movie has already shown its hand, you end up well ahead of the plot and a little bit bored.

Rating: 2.75/5 ★★¾☆☆ 


About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (

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