Writer: Anthony Hinds (Screenplay)
Starring: Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett, Jacqueline Pearce, Michael Fipper, John Laurie
Plot: In a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation.
Tagline – What strange power made her half woman – half snake?
Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Tamer Hammer Horror
Story: The Reptile starts when Harry (Barrett) and Valerie (Daniel) inherit Harry’s cottage after his mysterious death in a small Cornish Village. The couple move down hoping to live down there, only to learn that the location has a collection of deaths which just don’t make sense for the victims.
After another mysterious death, Harry starts investigating just what is happening, which sees him looking at the neighbour Dr Franklyn (Willman) who has a daughter that he is very controlling over.
Thoughts on The Reptile
Characters – Harry Spalding is looking to move into his late brother’s cottage in Cornwell, he sees it as a chance to get away from the city with his wife, but he isn’t convinced his brother died from heart failure, he isn’t welcomed into the village by the locals and once he starts looking into what happened, he starts to learn the disturbing truth about what is going on. Valerie is the wife of Harry, she meets Dr Franklyn first and is the one that get concerned about the well being of his daughter, wanting to help. Dr Franklyn is the neighbour that the town is fearful off, he is controlling of his daughter, with his action being the truth about what is happening in the village. Anna is the daughter of the Doctor, she acts like she is being held hostage by her father, wanting to get free, only she has a secret too.
Performances – We have Noel Willman that brings us a creepy character that does seem away from the world that he is part of, holding a secret. Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett work well as a couple well being the ones entering into the world like the audience. We get the typical cast you would see in this type of film.
Story – The story follows a couple that move to a Cornish cottage after one of the relatives dies suddenly only to discovery a mystery about the local area. Like most of the Hammer horror this is how we bring a new character into a horror going on, when it comes to being new to the area, we also generally get the unwelcoming locals with just one filling in the information. Watching the story unfold it does go in the direction you would expect without being anything that we haven’t seen from the genre before. The story does a good job hiding what the big reveal which is a pleasure to see the truth.
Horror – When it comes to horror we wait to see just what is going on, we get the creepy build and most happening in the dark, this could work for horror, though we don’t get enough shock early on.
Settings – The film is set in the location of a small Cornish village which has a tight community that doesn’t want to let new people in, where people can have secrets.
Special Effects – The effects here are practical and they do add to the horror once you get to see what the creature is.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the typical styled Hammer Horrors, it doesn’t offer much new and follows the formula without slipping into the bad selection.
Overall: Simple Hammer Horror.