The Asphyx 1973 ***

This unknown little British horror film from 1973 has a lot going for it; the first and only film as director for Peter Newbrook, The Asphyx would make a good double bill with Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. Set in 1870’s England, The Asphyx deals with Sir Hugo Cunningham (Robert Stephens) who finds an odd shape appearing in his photographs. Could this be the asphyx, the spirit that enters the body at the point of death? And if that spirit could be isolated, would that act bestow immortality on the person who would otherwise have died? Nicely photographed by Freddie Young, Newbrook’s film is a classy genre entry, intelligently put together and with strong support from Robert Powell and Jane Laportaire.


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