Les Diaboliques (1955), released as Diabolique in the United States, was helmed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. This French psychological horror thriller film is based on the novel She Who Was No More by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Les Diaboliques can easily be credited for its pioneering experiments with macabre setting and shocking plot twist.
To put is simply, a woman and her husband’s mistress conspire to murder the man (the woman’s husband). After the crime is committed, his body disappears, which leads to several strange occurrences. Goosebumps?
How and why does it happen? Where does the body go? Who is behind all this? Though innumerable movies have been made so far, Les Diaboliques showed the path to such brilliant suspense thrillers. It explored new horizons of horror and thriller movies. The blending of horror and suspense make this movie a must-watch even to this day.
One of the brilliant devices the makers of the film employs is to urge its views ‘not to reveal the ending to others’. That itself is enough and the film lives on.
Simone Signoret as Nicole Horner, Véra Clouzot as Christina Delassalle, Paul Meurisse as Michel Delassalle and Charles Vanel as Alfred Fichet play their parts well.
Decades later, a similar episode on Sony TV’s most celebrated horror serial Aahat surfaced, which wooed the audience. It was just a televised Indian version of Les Diaboliques.
The film’s unique, one of the first of its kind, end-credits ‘anti-spoilers’ director’s statement – ‘Don’t be diabolical yourself. Don’t spoil the ending for your friends by telling them what you have just seen.’
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.