I watched 1960's Black Sunday, which was surprisingly brutal in its opening moments. My experience with black and white horror films comes from a handful of creature features aired on cable when I was a kid, which were always fairly tame. I was not expecting a witch to have a mask nailed onto her face by means of a wooden sledge hammer before being sent to burn at the stake. However, it is rather tame from then on. There are deaths in the course of the witch's revenge, but they appear off screen and never come close to approaching the violence against her in the opening.
Barbara Steele plays both Asa, the witch, and Katia, her descendant and the key to Asa's true resurrection. Steele manages to come across as sinister in both roles. Katia's first appearance, not moments after the disturbance of Asa's tomb, had me believing the witch was already up and about and beginning her revenge. Subsequent appearances may have dispelled that feeling, but Katia never quite seems to be innocent young woman she was meant to be. Even worried over her father's failing health, she seems suspicious. This, of course, does not play a role in the film. Katia is just Katia and there is nothing dastardly or sinister about her. I doubt this effect was intentional, but I liked wondering about it and can't complain at all about Steele's performance.
It was a decent watch, though I am not certain that it was interesting enough to keep my attention on its own.
I was amused by one scene in particular. Two men are examining a body on the bank of a river when these lines are exchanged:
Man 1: That's who it is. Poor Boris, he certainly looks terrible. How on earth did he end up here?
Man 2: The river. Can't you see he's dead?