Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Hammer's Best
Written by Jimmy Sangster and directed by Freddie Francis, 1963's "Paranoiac" is a very well made Hammer production starring a great cast including Oliver Reed, Janette Scott and Alexander Davion. As usual with Sangster, he was a master at writing some beautifully constructed thrillers. This one concerns Oliver Reed as a paranoiac, out to commit his sister (Scott) to an...
Published on February 14, 2012 by V. Risoli

versus
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simon is crazy, but he's still interesting.
This story revolves around a young girl who may be crazy and her alchoholic brother. Their parents died years ago in a plane crash and their older brother Tony is believed to have committed suicide when he was a child. Then a man shows up claiming to be Tony because he says he faked his suicide and ran away. His sister believes him, but everyone else has their doubts...
Published on March 14, 2000 by Mark McKinney


Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simon is crazy, but he's still interesting., March 14, 2000
This review is from: Paranoiac [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This story revolves around a young girl who may be crazy and her alchoholic brother. Their parents died years ago in a plane crash and their older brother Tony is believed to have committed suicide when he was a child. Then a man shows up claiming to be Tony because he says he faked his suicide and ran away. His sister believes him, but everyone else has their doubts. Then it looks like someone is trying to commit murder and no one is certain who is sane and who is not. I had always heard this film was just average, but I think it is above average. There are some suspenseful moments here and there, good photography and the cast is overall solid. Oliver Reed is actually exceptional in his role, probably his best performance with Hammer. The film could have been improved by not playing their hand so soon, in that they revealed too much too soon. The film would have benefitted by being patient and building a mysterious mood for most of the film, instead we see one mysterious scene followed directly by a scene that reveals what is going on. Not perfect, but fairly interesting to watch late at night.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Hammer's Best, February 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Written by Jimmy Sangster and directed by Freddie Francis, 1963's "Paranoiac" is a very well made Hammer production starring a great cast including Oliver Reed, Janette Scott and Alexander Davion. As usual with Sangster, he was a master at writing some beautifully constructed thrillers. This one concerns Oliver Reed as a paranoiac, out to commit his sister (Scott) to an insane asylum just weeks before their large inheritance comes into effect. Enter the long-thought dead other brother (Davion). Scott and Davion have a great chemistry and, of course, Reed chews up the scenery, especially after the slightly rip-off ending of Hitchcock's "Psycho." This is one of Freddie Francis's triumphs. The black-and-white photography by Arthur Grant is on great display with this Eureka Video edition in a fabulous Blu-ray presentation. The sound quality is spectacular. Also contains the original trailer and 56 pages of ephemera.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oliver Reed's Madness Shines Though., February 8, 2011
By 
Austin Somlo (Somewhere in New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paranoiac [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Viewed: 2/11
Rate: 7

2/11: Paranoiac gives an unusual story for the viewers, something they don't see that often in films. It is almost like watching an episode from The Twilight Zone. Certainly, the cast does a very nice job of sticking it to the end. Of course, it all starts and ends with Oliver Reed, who makes the film to work for everybody else. He is at his best in Paranoiac: always dark, brooding, and combative. Without him, there is no Paranoiac. Although I think the film worked very well in its entirety, I can't help but be disappointed with its weak ending. That was so...blah. They could have done it better. Another thing I like a lot about the film is how beautifully photographed it is. That's one specialty that Freddie Francis is best at. Two unusual aspects about Paranoiac, for it being a Hammer Horror picture, is that: it is shot in black and white, and it contains none of the usual actors: Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. There is a lot of surprising twists and turns in Paranoiac. All in all, Oliver Reed was a very gifted actor back then, and he showed it in Paranoiac, making the film worth watching.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN AVERAGE B&W HAMMER FILM! THIS IS AVAILABLE ON DVD!, January 7, 2008
This review is from: Paranoiac [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I have been slowly watching a DVD set called The Hammer Horror Series. It features 8 classic Hammer films from the 50's and 60's including this film. I never saw this as a kid and I was quite surprised how much I liked it. More of a thriller/mystery with some horror elements but, good just the same. It does have it's creepy moments and a few good scares. It's one of the better movies in the set and the DVD transfer is very good. I rate this old B&W Hammer film 3 1/2 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who told you I was paranoid??, December 14, 2002
This review is from: Paranoiac [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A delicious horror psychodrama, about a splintered aristocratic family with more than a few hidden secrets. A young Oliver Reed is wonderfully way over the top as a possessive, demented, violent older brother who struggles to control the rest of the family. Nicely directed, and well shot (with a heavy debt to Hitchcock)... Good fun, although the ending is lamentably rushed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Part of The Hammer Collection on DVD and even better on this blu ray!!, July 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Already had this movie as part of The Hammer Collection on DVD. Paranoiac is the best of the set. Have always enjoyed Oliver Reed (a great underrated actor) as a sinister character and he does not disappoint here. Too bad more Hammer films aren't being released on blu ray. I have a few from Synapse from the early '70s, but they don't seem to have the atmosphere as in Paranoiac. This blu ray really blows the DVD away! The 2.35 widescreen image is much sharper and detailed. This import from the UK is from a reliable company called Eureka. They have done some really good stuff on blu ray. After all these years, this creepy film from the great Freddie Francis still gets to me. Now if they would only release my favorite Hammer film SCREAM OF FEAR on blu ray...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Sinister classic spins a gruesome web, April 18, 2012
This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
When you realize this is the screen directing debut of Freddie Francis,the excellent cinematographer(Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,Room at the Top,The Innocents) and scripted by Jimmy Sangster(who also did Maniac and Scream of Fear)from a gothic novel,as part of the Hammer stable,this is one of their excellent post-Psycho psychological thrillers in black and white,with the young,magnetic Ollie Reed, you know you are in for a great time.It's part of the genre of let's-drive-the-heiress-mad to gain the whole inheritance scenarios.Eleanor(Scott) is the emotional,beautiful,vulnerable sister who glimpses a figure who seems like her deceased brother Tony,at the church memorial service for her late parents.He commited suicide 7 years previously.Her brother Simon Ashby(Reed),wastrel, uses this to prove she's mentally unbalanced and not worthy of the inheritance.Simon is a brutish alcoholic,over-spending on money he hasn't yet got.Eleanor doubts her sanity and tries to kill herself.She is saved by Tony(Davion),the supposedly dead brother.He claims there was no suicide,just a disappearance.He has returned,just in time to claim the family inheritance.Simon and auntie Harriet(Burrell), put him to the test with the corrupt family lawyer,asking him questions which he passes.Simon and Harriet still know he's not Tony,but an impostor.The style is between manor-house gothic and modernity.Hammer's corner of Englishness.

Reed is at his magnificent best,sardonically charming yet also explosive and unpredictable,given over to scenes of heavy drinking and plotting to kill the impostor.There are Hitchcockian cliff-top scenes out of Rebecca.This is all reinforced by Lutyens music.'Tony' finds himself falling in love with Scott and admits that he's an impostor. There are hints of madness in the family,incest,murder.Eleanour's hysteria on falling in love with supposedbrother and Harriet's relationship with Simon,play on the incest theme.Davion restores Scott to sanity and flushes out the real madness of Simon(organ playing in the cellar to his murdered brother's skeleton) and crazy aunt Harriet, setting the place ablaze after dressing up in a grotesque mask and attacking Davion with a hook.There are some great plot twists,Francis building the suspense well with genuinely frightening sequences and good pace.Sangster's script is plotted along conventional,gothic,melodramatic lines.Oliver Reed holds the whole film together,swinging between Byronic/Heathcliffian sexuality and Norman Bates-style madness.The film has a Psycho-type denouement. Editing is sharp,snappy and to-the point.This film with its sumptuous cinematography is the best in its genre.Reed makes one wonder why he never became the best actor in England,but his off-screen persona stole that.Incidentally,this is now obtainable on DVD release by Eureka!(2010).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars kinda silly., November 27, 2010
This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I watched this movie hoping to be both captivated and repelled by the pure-evil-Oliver-Reed. I was more repelled, I gotta say. It was very soap opera, forced emotions, silly plot. Nice cinematography though. The end is so patently ridiculous. If you want a yawn and big laugh at the end, check this one out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Paranoiac [VHS]
Paranoiac [VHS] by Freddie Francis (VHS Tape - 1995)
$14.98 $2.95
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.