Island of the Dead: Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie

I Spit on Your Horror Film Blog

The 1943 film I Walked with a Zombie is, quite simply, spooky. It also portrays the more realistic and grounded voodoo version of a zombie, a creature that has since been taken over by the reanimated, cannibalistic corpses of modern horror in the popular consciousness. Voodoo zombies are still considered undead but they do not crave the flesh of the living. This distinction doesn’t make Jessica Holland, the zombie of the film, any less frightening.

The director, Jacques Tourneur, also manages to play with the audience, making us question whether certain events play out the way they are presented or whether they even happened at all. The entire film has a dreamlike quality to it but whether the dream is sweet or a nightmare constantly shifts. Similar to other great horror films of the era, this film excels at creating unease in the viewer instead of outright fright.

The film…

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