I Walked with a Zombie Review

I Walked with a Zombie
Betsy is a Canadian nurse, who travels to the Caribbean to care for Jessica, the wife of Paul, a plantation manager. After traditional methods fail to cure her, Betsy turns to local religious practices to see if she can find a cure.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

30 Apr 1943

Running Time:

69 minutes



Original Title:

I Walked with a Zombie

The second Lewton-Tourneur horror film is a transposition of the plot of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre to the West Indies, with a young nurse discovering that her employer's apparently catatonic wife has been transformed by voodoo into one of the walking dead. Framed by a calypso which fills in the plot background, this is a remarkably eerie picture as heroine Frances Dee succumbs to an exquisitely-conjured atmosphere of the supernatural. As in many of Lewton's films, the most memorable sequence is a night-time walk, as Dee leads the blonde zombie through the canefields, coming up against an unforgettable bug-eyed island creature.

It uses Caribbean folklore and weird religious imagery (a figurehead of St. Sebastian) to spice up a romantic tangle that pays off, as might be expected, with nobody happy and the villain lured into the waves after his zombie beloved.
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