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John Connor [Celluloid 05.02.22] horror drama



“I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
- Edgar Allan Poe

Only one Servant remains in the ruins of an old house. He is valet, butler, footman, cook and sick-nurse. The master of the house is a cadaverous invalid whose every function is aided by the earnest, young manservant. He meticulously repeats his duties within the silence of the moldering chambers - his only company is the vacant stare of the Old Man's blind eye.

Time rots away. Tormented by constant silence and the banality of his duties, the Servant’s fears gradually turn to violent obsession.

With tangibly detailed period design and hauntingly lifelike puppetry, THE TELL-TALE HEART unearths the decaying dreamworld of Poe.

Director/ designer Robert Eggers centers the classic tale on the unnerving relationship between Servant and Master. With lyrical movement and a striking performance by Carrington Vilmont, the film quickly lures its viewer into its claustrophobic confines.


Statement from director Robert Eggers:

“I am pleased to share The Tell-Tale Heart. It is an uneven film, but my first film that I was proud of making. It is also my first collaboration with my DP Jarin Blaschke and editor Lousie Ford, and we have worked together ever since, so it is an important film for all three of us.

It is also my first collaboration with sound designer Damian Volpe. Originally, I wanted an incredibly frail actor, on death's door, to play The Old Man, and realised the shooting conditions would not be able to accommodate that fragility (We shot the film in an abandoned 19th century house in New Hampshire, in February. It was filthy and cold – to put it mildly). I said to myself, "I'd rather have a doll play The Old Man than a slightly younger actor in makeup." That stuck. This idea of an unliving doll or puppet as the antagonist was a strange choice, but for better or worse, one that certainly makes the film unique. I am also particularly proud of the performance by Carrinton Vilmont. I hope that audiences take note of him.”








Also be sure to watch Robert Eggers' first film which we unearthed a few weeks back as part of our Famous First Films YouTube channel.




Recommended Release: The Northman









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