FRENZY

(1972)
With Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Anna Massey, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Alec McGowan
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Reviewed by JL

Frenzy    Hitchcock's penultimate film was heralded by many as a return to form following his misfires of the late 1960s.  It was indeed his best film in many years, though it was marred by a couple of glaring shortcomings.  A graphic rape and murder scene early in the film might have been Hitchcock's attempt to top PSYCHO's shower scene, but it has the wrong effect on the viewer.  Whereas PSYCHO's shower scene was more shocking than disturbing, FRENZY's rape scene was more disturbing than shocking, leaving an unpleasant aftertaste that lingers for several scenes.  Also, it's the one time Hitchcock used his man-on-the-run theme when there was no apparent need for the man to be on the run (his innocence could be easily proven if he'd just stop and think for five minutes).  But overall the film succeeds as a modern suspense thriller.  It has some wonderfully executed scenes of high tension, as well as some virtuoso camera work from the master director.  If nothing else, FRENZY proved that Hitchcock could still deliver the goods in the December of his career.  - JL

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