In a run-down, provincial school, murderous passions seethe just below the surface. The put-upon, weak-hearted wife (Vera Clouzot) and mysteriously sensual girlfriend (Simone Signoret) of a sadistic headmaster (Paul Meurisse) murder him, dumping the corpse in the weeded-over swimming pool. When the pool is drained, the body is missing and the women start to lose their minds, especially when a pupil claims to have seen a ghost. A major international hit in 1954, this has lost little of its power, with three strong central performances and a marvellously seedy setting. It has scenes of physical horror (one trick with contact lenses is unforgettably creepy), but Clouzot also sets the flesh creeping with incidences of ordinary nastiness, as when Meurisse forces his wife to eat a disgusting school dinner.
Watch LES DIABOLIQUES here.