[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gluDUR-_qKULast weekend, for the first time ever I watched Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte (German title, incidentally: Lullaby for a Corpse). It’s a Southern Gothic story with quite a few horror elements, starring a fantastic Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland. There’s Joseph Cotton in it, too, but sorry, completely overshadowed by the ladies.

The setting is hauntingly beautiful and staged most effectively. The outside scenes were filmed at The Houmas, a lovely plantation house in Louisiana that is part of a museum now. In the inside scenes, a marvellous Art Nouveau (or is it Art Deco?) interior is used, with the beautiful staircase used to tremendous effect.

In this setting, two cousins, one of them unhinged, carry out a battle of wills that has its source in a murder of passion that was committed more than 30 years earlier.

I enjoyed the film a lot. It’s highly atmospheric, and several twists caught me by surprise. If you haven’t watched it, give yourself a treat!

– Rike Horstmann