If Hieronymus Bosch had decided to set his Garden of Earthly Delights within the Capuchin Crypt, his interest in alchemy instead represented as a meditation on man-as-machine, I think it'd look a lot like 'The Pendulum, The Pit, and Hope'.
Svankmajer meets his equal in Poe which is funneled through some hellish Dante-inspired elements. All of his mastery of grit, grime and dirt are put on display to full revelation. One of Jan's more haunting shorts.
3.9 stars. The closest Švankmajer has come to making an outright horror film. I especially like Eva Švankmajerová's contributions here. The pair have a thorough understanding of the neurotic energies animating Poe's greatest works. Dank, intensely claustrophobic and ultimately tragic. One of Švankmajer's least humorous works, doing the story justice. [Which isn't to say that Poe wasn't often funny, but not here.]