June 28, 1972 [Frenzy]

Frenzy is a good title for this Hitchcock movie: funny and horrifying, with cool observance of bestial acts and pity tempered by appetite, the wrong man a jerk and the murderer keeping it together--and the victims flopped around like broken mannequins, their sightless eyes looking away, their stiffening fingers cracked--and we want it, and Hitchcock lets us have it, more ferociously than Psycho--and almost as funny as The Trouble with Harry.

Now that he has an “R” rating to live in, Hitchcock’s house may become more haunted than I can take. When his necktie murderer closes in on one young woman, the camera backs away, politely leaves him to it. I know I’m supposed to be chilled as the camera moves into the street, where everyone bustles by--but what’s worse is that Hitchcock is so gracious about it, like a butler withdrawing from his master’s study, knowing his place, whether he approves or not.


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