I went into this one already knowing the ending which if you have already seen this, that's something that it is best that you not know. However, it didn't take too much away from my enjoyment of the film.
Acting/characters: The star here is definitely Edward Woodward who plays the protagonist. His character goes from an interesting transformation to stiff and formal to a little more crazy than I think he has ever been. it is played beautifully. Also, this movie has an excellent performance by Christopher Lee who, like all of his roles, is chillingly suave. Seeing the two of them clash with each other is awesome. The rest of the people on the island (none of them have MAJOR roles but a lot of them are seen more than once) are really creepy. They are so utterly blissfully happy but in such a way that it is immensely creepy. You wonder the whole time "what the heck is going on with these people!? The answer is pretty chilling. But the acting is solid. 9.5/10
Plot: The plot starts out simple enough, a cop investigating a missing girl. Simple enough. And that is all that I am going to leave you with...maybe that's even too much to tell you. The plot unravels from there and gets more and more insane. Like the cop, you never truly know what is going on. You get half-truths here and there, you get the feeling that you should never trust anybody and so on. But it sucks you in and doesn't let go even after the film is over. I still re-play images of the ending in my mind. It sticks with you like few other horror endings have. It never ever gets boring. Once you start, you get sucked in and I like that a lot about this movie. 9.5/10
Screenplay: it's pretty good. Since there aren't really action scenes and a lot of the film is dialogue between characters, it HAS to have a good script. and I think that it definitely does. I particularly liked the scenes between Woodward and Lee. They revealed more about Lee's character than any other time where he is on screen interacting with the locals and it makes him all the more charmingly sinister. if you like dialogue-driven films, you certainly will not be disappointed at all here with this one. It does a great job in holding your interest throughout the entire film which is something that a lot of horror films don't have a knack for doing these days. 9/10
Likableness: The biggest critics for this film are the ones who have completely missed the point. If you watch it I would advise thinking about what this film is trying to say. That aside, I would definitely watch this film again and I suggest that anyone who has not seen it go out and do just that. October is almost over! do it soon! There is no better time! Well, aside from that, this film is backed up by great performances, awesome dialogue, and a stellar, complex plot that will hold your interest from the very beginning to the very end of the film. This film will not disappoint you. It didn't disappoint me. It is one of the better horror films that I have seen in a long time. 9.5/10
Final score: 37.5/40 93%
Tomatometer rating: 89%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 89%
TRIVIA TIME: 1. Christopher Lee agreed to appear in this film for free.
2. Although the film is set in Scottish territory and all the characters are meant to be of Scottish nationality, all five of of the leading cast are not Scottish: Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward are English, Diane Cilento is Australian, Ingrid Pitt is Polish and Britt Ekland is Swedish.
3. As filming occurred between October and November, there were no trees in blossom. The trees in the scenes with the pregnant women had to be brought in and were all handmade. Edward Woodward admitted one of the memories of filming that stuck out in his mind was watching the trees being brought in on the back of a truck as he had never seen anything like it.