Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Twisted Nerve is a 1968 thriller directed by Roy Boulting and starring Hayley Mills, Billie Whitelaw, Hywel Bennett and Barry Foster.
Martin Durnley(Bennett) is a twenty-something man living at home with his mother and his step-father. He does what he wants and he doesn't work. He sees a young woman called Susan(Mills) and he likes her. He is caught shoplifting and he and Susan are accused of being in it together, but the truth comes out. Martin has an alter ego called Georgie, a little boy, and he uses Georgie to get sympathy. This is the last straw for his step father who throws him out. Martin adopts his alter ego, Georgie and he turns up at Susan's house, having seen her address earlier. Susan lives with her mother, Joan(Whitelaw) and two tenants who reside in the house also. They are Gerry(Barry Foster) and Shashee Kadir(Salmaan Peer). He has a letter from his 'father' which states that he would be grateful if Georgie could stay with them for a week until he comes back from his holiday in Paris. Martin pretends that is Georgie and they have pity on him and let him stay.
Martin is happy that he has pulled the wool over their eyes. He watches everything that goes on and he keeps an eye on Susan. He likes her a lot. He writes a letter to his mother, telling her that he is in Paris having a good time. He becomes a part of the household and Joan likes him and feels sorry for him. There is something strange about him, though and he makes a move on Susan. She doesn't like it.
One night, he sneaks out and he kills his step father and sneaks back into the house. He thinks that he will get away with it as he is meant to be in Paris. His behaviour changes and when Joan comes onto him, he snaps and kills her too. Susan becomes suspicious of him and she tells Shashee about it. He is studying to be a doctor and we see some lecture on chromosomes and find out that if there is a problem with them, a person can turn out anti-social or psychopathic. Martin's brother is mentally disabled and it is suggested that Martin has a chromosome problem too, making him a psycho.
Anyway, the movie ends as you would expect. Martin's true identity is discovered and Susan sees him for who he really is. She is repulsed and he tries to make her like him, but in the end, he loses the plot just in time for the police to come in and take him away to a mental institution. For a 1960's film, this was good. There isn't much blood at all. It is more a study of Martin and his psychopathic personality. Bennett is very good in the part and the movie is very interesting. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys story more than gore. I will give it a 6/10.
Posted by Amanda at 11:34 AM