Not so much a whodunnit as a ‘did they actually do it?’, this posh school chiller is full of intriguing twists and turns.
Unfairly neglected British psychological horror, in which Hemmings’ jittery schoolteacher is informed by his new charges that they killed his predecessor – and that he’ll suffer the same fate if he doesn’t dole out the right kind of marks.
It’s Anderson’s If… retold from the point of view of the masters, with a gaggle of stuffy character actors in the staff-room roles (Lott, Wilmer) and a register-full of potentially murderous schoolboys – with absurd names like Blisterine, Bungabine, Cloistermouth and Cuthbun.
You may have to wait until after the closing credits to find out who-what-if theydunit.
David Hemmings as John Ebony
Douglas Wilmer as Headmaster
Tony Haygarth as Cary Farthingale (as Anthony Haygarth)
Carolyn Seymour as Silvia
Donald Gee as Stretton
Hamilton Dyce as Mr. Winstanley
Barbara Lott as Mrs. Winstanley
Director Of Photography: Geoffrey Unsworth
Director: John Mackenzie
Producer: Gareth Wigan
Executive Producer: David Hemmings
Original Music Composer: Michael J. Lewis
Screenplay: Simon Raven
UK | 102 minutes | 1971