Not to be confused with the 2009 mainstream horror, this is an intense psychological horror. Freddie Clegg, masterfully played by a young Terence Stamp, is a disturbed man. We see glimpses of his everyday life, where he is picked on and laughed at by his coworkers. He spends most of his time absorbed in his extensive butterfly collection. Freddie just wants to be loved, he wants to have a normal life with a loving wife by his side. So he stalks Miranda Grey (Samantha Eggar), a young art student. He abducts her and keeps her locked away. He is convinced, if given a chance, she will fall in love with him. When he promises to release her after a month, Miranda becomes hopeful and decides to play along. It’s a psychological game from here on out, each player trying to get a feel for where the other’s motive lies.
Although it seems a bit lengthy and slow paced at first, the story here is gripping. Freddie behaves like a perfect gentleman with Miranda, well other than the fact that he has abducted her and is holding her captive that is. He’s not making sexual advances or treating her roughly, he even knocks before he enters her room to make sure she is decent. His polite, well-mannered behavior is far more unsettling than watching the violent or angry type of hostage situation that is most often portrayed in film. It’s much harder to gauge where Freddie is coming from, Miranda finds it difficult to piece together exactly what he wants. Anyway, it’s a great old flick and I do recommend watching it.