Wait Until Dark is a scary movie. And not in a gory or ghostly way, but in an extremely tense and dark way. (Literally dark…there’s a scene that is completely black and you can only hear what’s going on.) The fabulous Audrey Hepburn plays Susy, a recently blinded woman who is targeted by three con-men who are looking for a heroin-stuffed porcelain doll in her apartment. Apparently, Susy’s not so bright husband (Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) brought the doll through customs for a stranger (that’s why you never hold someone else’s bag in an airport, right?) and then lost it. The con-men start a sick game, in which they try to trick the innocent Susy into revealing the doll’s location. Unfortunately for two of these baddies (Richard Crenna and Jack Weston) the third is a real psychopath (Alan Arkin) who is willing to kill anyone (and everyone) to get what he wants.

One of the things that makes this film so effective is its claustrophobic setting. All of the action takes place in Susy’s tiny New York apartment, and when they start turning the lights out, I feel like I’m the one being boxed in.

The performances from the two leads (Hepburn and Arkin) are quite excellent and gripping. The final showdown scene is one of the most terrifying things ever. I prepare myself for it, and yet I still jump every time. (There may or may not have been some girlish squealing, too…I couldn’t say…) Henry Mancini’s spooky, off-key score doesn’t help matters. The jangly, out of tune piano bumps the tension quota up several more notches. Don’t watch this one alone at night. You’ll regret it if you do. You’ve been warned.

This is 3 coats of China Glaze’s Near Dark from their Haunting Collection (Halloween 2011). It’s a very deep green creme, almost black, but not quite. This had a very thin formula, which was pretty disappointing, but I do like me some dark polishes. Maybe just not ones that need so many coats. ~K

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