Great, gothic psychological horror?

The directing debut of ace DoP Freddie Francis, Paranoiac was the first of a string of Hammer psychological horrors intended to cash in on Psycho’s success. Oliver Reed is the bad-boy scion of a country family beset by tragedy: parents killed in a road accident, older brother a teen suicide, sister seemingly borderline insane.

In a few weeks Ollie will inherit the family fortune – but then up pops a guy purporting to be the dead brother…. No one is actually a paranoiac (psychotic, yes – paranoid, no) and the plot barely hangs together, but atmosphere is all – and it comes in great gothic dollops and spooky black-and-white ’scope visuals, impeccably restored for this release.

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