Watching old classic foreign films can always be fun, but ever so often they can be a mixed bag, as either they haven’t dated well, or the themes, which were original back in their day, have been ripped off and used so often since, that these older films now seem rather basic. So with a name like Diabolique, and being from the 50’s, made me wonder if it could live up to its name, as some horrific things, or should I say diabolical things, have graced our screens over the last 60 years since this film was made, and so it kind of had a lot to live up to name wise.
I also went into the film knowing nothing about it other than the name, which made me think it was going to be horror based, and well it kind of kept you guessing right up to the end exactly what it was. Was it a horror, or a thriller? I’ve got to say I like it when films can keep that side a mystery, as it can be fun watching something that you think is one thing, only for it to be something completely different by the end.
Though I must admit that I wasn’t exactly over the moon with this film at the beginning, as it dealt with people who seemingly allow themselves to be victims. You see, I have strong opinions about stuff like that. There are people who have insecurities, and then there are insecure people. There are people who have been victimized, and then there are victims. The later of both, I feel, are people who let themselves be that way, and almost do everything in their power not to drop that label by staying in their situations and not leaving and empowering themselves.
So with the two main female characters in this film seemingly letting themselves be victims to a domineering partner, and using either no excuse at all, or one of religion, to stick around, just made me really annoyed at them. Though this film had many layers around motivations which could be used as a case to why they let themselves get treated that way, but only kind of.
This film really did keep me guessing right up to the end, even if there were only 2 or 3 possible ways it could end, and when it unravelled along one of those paths, it did still bring a smile to face with its cleverness. Though that doesn’t mean the ending was exactly as good as it could have been, as in many ways it left the audience to make up their own mind about what really happened. If it turned out how I think it did, then it was a good ending, if it was the other way, it’s not such a good ending.
There will be spoilers in this paragraph, so drop to the end if needed. Why did the cop, who clearly knew the other two were plotting, let her die? That is the bad ending. But in my mind, and because the boy at the end said he saw the women still alive, makes me think she faked her death with help from the cop, though that’s only an ending the audience can come up with on their own, as it’s left hanging. That ending however is exactly what I’m going to believe happened, as that’s a good ending.
So by the end I did enjoy this film, though there were annoying moments, and sections that dragged on or seemed pointless, but it’s fully deserving of having its place on the IMDB top 250 and being seen as a classic.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!