Wednesday, May 14, 2008


A mild but effective modern-day ghost story which plays out like a British version of THE UNINVITED. James Mason and Barbara Mullen, an elderly couple, buy a house which has been empty for 40 years since the previous tenant, a sickly girl named Elizabeth, died of an overdose, having been spurned by a local doctor. The house may be haunted--they hear a strange voice on a speaking tube "intercom"--but they vow to stay on with their young hired companion (Margaret Lockwood). There are snatches of ghostly conversations, breezes of unknown origin, and a spooky storm, and Lockwood, who can't play the piano, can suddenly play it like an expert. When Lockwood collapses and takes to her sickbed, Mason and Mullen believe she's been possessed by the dead girl and their only hope is to find the doctor from Elizabeth's past. Mason, even with old-age makeup, seems too young for the part, but Mullen is nicely sly. Dennis Price plays a young doctor who helps out, and Ernest Thesiger has a small but crucial role in the climax. Though not a comedy, there is a light tone throughout, as in THE UNINVITED; things lag a bit in the middle, but for an old-fashioned ghost story, this is solid entertainment. [TCM]

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