I've never quite made up my mind whether I like this or "Cat People" best, but they're both classics of the genre. In the 1940s, when horror was generally on the decline, and suffering from severe unoriginality, Val Lewton of RKO studios came along and more or less single-handedly rescued the genre. He hated the titles of most of the movies, which were invented by the studio, but he would come up with a concept to subvert them and get a good young writer to come up with an interesting story that fit. This one is very much a classic Gothic romance, with elements in common with _Rebecca_, set in the West Indies and utilizing the voodoo tradition for atmosphere. More than that, though, it explores issues of colonialism in a surprisingly daring way for the period and genre, with the black servant characters often seeming the most human among the decadent white family. Not to be missed.