I just watched a terrific old B & W horror film, Night of the Demon (1957), directed by Jacques Tourneur.
This film was intriguing in all sorts of ways. For starters, the DVD includes two versions: the original British film, and a shortened American version, Curse of the Demon. It was interesting to see what changes the distributor thought was necessary for an American audience.
Once you see it, too, you can see its influence in all sorts of unexpected places. It was obviously an important inspiration for Sam Raimi's recent Drag Me to Hell, but its central concept was also strongly reminiscent of the cursed videotape in Ringu. One of its optical effects was even copied in an episode of DS9, "The Storyteller."
Highly recommended for fans of classic horror films.
Night of the Demon is one of my all time favourite horror films, part of the reason I loved Drag me to Hell was because Raimi was obviously riffing on this (even down to the railway track ending!). Just try to ignore the demon (which Tourneur was forced to put in) and enoy the wonderful atmosphere of dread that permeates the entire film.