The acting is very exaggerated. The cast is in constant shock and fear - every little thing seems to come as a huge surprise to them and they pull comical faces when trying to portray the alien energy that penetrates their brains. However, this is also what makes the film quite scary - when this frantic over-acting combines with the horror-inflected incidental music, suspense builds up.
Unfortunately, it doesn't help when the monsters appear from the spacecraft. With poor production values, these locust type beasties look like they are made from papier mache are dated and laughable. The Blu-ray enhancement only highlights how bad the creatures really are. Still, they were creepy.
As the film draws to a close, with the streets of London descending into mayhem as the alien force grows in strength, it’s hard to tell who defeated whom. Dr. Roney has a seemingly unbeatable plan, but after falling to his death it’s hard to tell whether he died for the good of humanity or whether climbing to the top of a building crane wasn't a very good idea on his part. Despite this damp squib of a conclusion, the Quatermass series has influenced some of today’s cultural titans including writer Stephen King and director John Carpenter. It also featured in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes compiled by the British Film Institute in 2000 and in 2005 the BBC’s own website said that it was “simply the first finest thing the BBC ever made.”
For real film enthusiasts this may be so, but for a twenty-something student it just wasn’t that interesting. But what do I know when Stephen King says otherwise?
Quatermass And The Pit will be released, digitally restored and on Blu-ray for the first time, on double play on October 10th. The Blu-ray also includes interviews and extras with the cast, writer and director.