A class minded greek tragedy sold as psychological horror/suspense as well as a clever deconstruction of the "Bette Davis as evil old lady" genre that she'd be type cast into at that time. One of the creepiest G rated films I've ever seen as well as one of the best Hammer films not that isn't Losey's DAMNED or anything by Terence Fischer.
One of Hammer Films' most accomplished works. An eerie and ambiguous psychological thriller that deals with some disturbing taboo themes inside a family.
Filmed in a gloriously stark black and white, effortlessly attaining a claustrophobic, lurid and bleak atmosphere.
My only regret is that the end seems watered down, just after reaching its real sense of menace.
Damned by faint praise, but a fairly decent entry in the latter-day decline in Davis career in a more British take on grand guignol. It creaks and unfolds with pedestrian predicability but has a off-kilter charm despite the fact one ends up willing it to hurry-up and finish.
You know there’s something strange going on when Bette Davis plays a nanny and there’s been a death in the family. Like you know that something’s wrong in the motel the moment you meet Norman Bates. The depressing atmosphere keeps you guessing until, in the end, the horror is uncovered. And in The Nanny, it truly is horror, although tragic and realist and even heartbreaking. A successful “mini-Hitchcock” from Hammer.
When Davis's expressionless exterior cracks, it's not as fun as in her most iconic roles, and the film's glacial pace starts to bother after a while, but otherwise a decent horror/thriller. When things start to get creepy, there are some especially fine scenes atmosphere-wise, and the cinematography with all the close-ups crawls on the characters' skin, showing every drop of sweat. Brilliantly uncomfortable.
Everything about this works. Davis turns in one of her finest, least showy performances and even the tacked on happy ending makes sense and adds an air of hope to this dour affair. An exquisitely devastating little chiller.