The Böcklin painting absolutely proposes an immaculate area for a blood and gore movie, with its approaching trees and claustrophobic nooks. (Echoes of the film’s utilization of the artistic creation are found in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island.) Lewton, who wanted to utilize figures and totems typically, adds to that unwelcoming passage the statue of a three-headed canine. The columnist flippantly alludes to it as a guard dog, yet in Greek mythology the three-headed puppy is Cerberus, who protects the passage to Hell.
A little while later this island is a kind of hellfire in fact. Hoping to research the obliteration of his better half’s tomb, the general winds up at the home of an excavator (Jason Robards, Sr.) whose visitors incorporate a man so sick he can’t make it up the stairs after a brief presentation.