The Stepford Wives (1975)

Perhaps best described as a 'thriller in daylight', the 1975 version of 'The Stepford Wives' captures an idealistic suburban neighbourhood, riddled with a deep foreboding undertone of the unhomely.

The film follows a housewife named Joanna who recently moves into Stepford, where something is immediately amiss. As the film progresses, our sensation of the uncanny is heightened as we are alluded to further dark implications that seemingly begin to envelope our heroines. The perfect like presentation with an obsession to serve with household chores definitely creates an uncanny effect to the wives of Stepford, unsettling our herorines with a deep sense of paranoia as they begin to discover the truth.

Progressing at a leisurely pace, the film is wonderfully presented being full of light and saturated colours that, like the wives themselves, serve as an illusion to the truth which our heroines learn all too late. We are drawn into a world that becomes increasingly sinister as the saturated colours and light begin to fade away with clues that pervade to the dark truth. The end is utterly horrifying and chilling, confirming our doubts where all hope is lost. Even then we are left ambiguously as to exact nature and cause of these terrifying replicas that only heightens our horror of what has become, with our fear of losing our humanity.

Overall, the film is brilliantly presented capturing the dark foreboding undertones of an all too ideal neighbourhood of 'perfect' wives. Some long drawn scenes may have lost their appeal to modern audiences, but should not be discounted as they really help capture the tonality and atmosphere of the film. Looking up the modern remake of 2004, it seems its best to avoid this being described as a 'desperately wrong turn' as a 'empty comedy' quoted over at Either way, best stick to the original where you will not be disappointed.


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