Obscure Thriller Stephen King Said ‘Out-Hitchcocked Hitchcock’ Is Available on Prime

Obscure Thriller Stephen King Said ‘Out-Hitchcocked Hitchcock’ Is Available on Prime
Image credit: Cinédis, Legion-Media

The King of Horror’s recommendations are rarely bad, so here is a solid must-watch for the genre lovers.


  • Back in 1955, one psychological horror-thriller served as a source of inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, even surpassing it in some aspects.
  • The movie’s story revolves around two femme fatales in their urge to avenge the hated abuser and combines suspense, mind games and dreadful horror.

By telling a suspenseful story of a young fraud Marion encountering a mysterious motel proprietor Norman Bates, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho established the new era of horror. Surprisingly, it was partially inspired by a 1955 movie, which received the highest praise from the master of horror, the accomplished writer Stephen King, who stated that its director “out-Hitchcocked Hitchcock” by this horrifying masterpiece.

It starts off by depicting the sadistic school headmaster Michel, who is abusive towards both his wife Christina and his mistress Nicole, who work as the teachers of this school too. They team up to perform revenge on him by faking Michel’s accidental drowning. However, the most interesting part begins when they become the topic of a detective’s investigation, at the same time suspecting that their tormentor may not be dead at all.

The film’s grim atmosphere is gradually intensifying to the very finale of this thriller, which presents a shocking twist that can amaze even the most experienced cinema lovers. It exploits femme fatale and supernatural motives, also exploring the roots of domestic violence and infidelity through a well-built script and the movie’s horror lens.

Obscure Thriller Stephen King Said ‘Out-Hitchcocked Hitchcock’ Is Available on Prime - image 1

The surprising truth is that Hitchcock himself once wanted to make this movie, which is an adaptation of the 1952 novel She Who Was No More by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Nevertheless, the renowned director was outrun by the French filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot, famous mostly with his The Wages of Fear (1953).

Clouzot’s given movie, the psychological horror titled Les Diaboliques, released as Diabolique in the US, is definitely giving strong Psycho vibes and presumably winning over it with the level of perfectly-timed suspense and writing of its characters.

The director manipulates the audience by building a nail-biting feeling of mounting dread since the very beginning of his feature, when the man goes missing. The strain eventually resolves with a final twist that makes an unforgettable nightmare of it.

Les Diaboliques was so good that there was a Hollywood’s attempt to remake it in 1996 with Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani starring in it. However, being constantly compared to the original movie, it received overall negative critical reviews.

Watch 1995 Clouzot’s masterpiece to check out whether King was right about it or not, as it’s available for streaming on Prime.

Source: BFI