In self-defense, French magistrate Price strangles a condemned prisoner only to become possessed by the dead man's evil spirit, or "horla." Price becomes a merciless killer until he discovers that the horla responds unfavorably to fire. To destroy the evil inside him, he must take his own
life. He does so by leaping into a blazing inferno. The film is based on a classic story by Guy de Maupassant, but Price is unable to bring the necessary dimensions to the complex role. Of major importance to the literary work, but only hinted at in the film, is the idea that he kills because he
is a latent murderer given a license to do so. A subtle and important horror story whi...