horror, movie, movie review, mystery, sci-fi

May 24th, 2017 Movie – Ringu 2

ringu 2

So when the original Ringu came out, Rasen came out at the same time. However, while Ringu was a massive success, Rasen was considered a flop so a new sequel was planned. However, instead of basing it off the novels like Rasen was, they decided to base it off the first movie. This idea worked as this would become one of the biggest box office hits of 1999. So lets see just how good of a movie it is as I watch today’s movie, Ringu 2.

The plot: After the events of Ringu, Takaishi Yamamura is brought to the police morgue to identify Sadako’s body, though he say he will not be able to as he hasn’t seen her in 30 years. As he gets upset over the situation, the detective informs him that though the well was sealed up after the place was sold, Sadako only died 1-2 years ago. Meanwhile, the police are searching for Reiko Asakawa after the strange deaths of her ex-husband Ryuji Takayama and her father. As her friend Okazaki, another reporter, reviews some of the footage Reiko shot about the “cursed tape” with their producer, they are approached by Mai Takano, Ryuji’s assistant at the university, who is looking for Reiko. Okazaki and Mai go to Reiko’s apartment and find the remains of a burnt video tape in the bathtub and Mai has a vision of asking for her father to forgive her but she had to save Yoichi’s life. Thinking of Yoichi, Okazaki goes looking for a picture of him so they can check his school but stops when he sees a family photo and all of the faces are blurred out. Meanwhile, Detective Omuta arrives at the house of Reiko’s father and notices the two VCRs hooked up in order to copy a tape, as well as a note from Reiko. As Mai waits outside Yoichi’s school, she sees an image of Yoichi trying to talk to her but he soon vanishes as Okazaki returns and says that Yoichi hasn’t been there in over a week. That night, Omuta goes to see Mai and asks her about Ryuji’s death but as he discusses everything with her, Mai gets upset and asks him to leave. The next day, Mai is riding the train and sees Reiko and Toichi heading towards Ryuji’s apartment but is unable to get off the train in time. Okazaki is interviewing a high school student, Kanae Sawaguchi, about the cursed tape and asks if she can get him a copy but before she responds, he sees Mai outside the window and leaves to speak with her, telling his cameraman to get the tape. Okazaki tells Mai about 4 kids who died at the same time after watching the tape, mentioning that one of them, Tomoko, was Reiko’s niece. He then says that another girl, Masami Kurahashi, was with Tomoko when she died and has been mute and institutionalized at the university’s hospital ever since. They head to the hospital and speak with Masami’s doctor, Ishi Kawajiri, and he shows them the photos they took of Masami when she was admitted and they see a strange mist floating next to her, covering her right eye. Kawajiri explains that it is an example of spirit photography and as he continues explaining it to Okazaki, Mai leaves the office and heads towards the common area. She sees a nurse walking Masami towards the room, using a screen to shield her from the TV but when the nurse stops, Masami enters the room and stares at the TV. Suddenly, the picture changes and shows Sadako climbing out of the well, which frightens all of the other patients and causes them to cry out and collapse to the floor in fear. As the doctors rush to check on them, Mai checks on Masami but when she touches her, she sees what Masami witnessed when Tomoko died. The next day, Mai is able to track down Yoichi and Reiko and questions them about the tape and Ryuji’s death and Reiko explains that Yoichi has been mute ever since his father died. When Mai admits that Yoichi has been telepathically contacting her, Reiko says that his psychic abilities have intensified since Ryuji’s death and wants to see if Kawajiri might be able to help her. Meanwhile, Kanae shows up at Okazaki’s work and hands him a copy of the tape and says that she watched it and asks that he watch it but after she leaves, Okazaki puts the tape in his desk. Mai, Okazaki, and Omuta head to the hospital, where Kawajiri is attempting to purge the psychic energy that has been building up in Masami’s mind by projecting it onto a blank tape. However, the tape starts to show the recording of the cursed tape and the well and when Masami ends up dying, Mai smashes the monitor and destroys the video tape before fainting. Okazaki returns to the office, where he is told that Kanae has been trying to call him, and he gives her a call and lies to her about watching the tape before hanging up, then locks the tape back in his desk. When Mai comes too, Omuta and Kawajiri show her an article about the failed experiment involving Sadako’s mother and Omuta demands that she tell him where Reiko and Yoichi are hiding. When he gets word of Kanae dying, Omuta takes Mai with him to see the body and she reluctantly tells them where to find them. As the two are taken to the police station, Mai learns that they will be separated and telepathically warns Yoichi to run. Yoichi runs to Reiko, then uses his powers to stop Omuta and another officer from following them but when they get outside, Reiko ends up getting struck by a truck. As Mai goes to comfort Yoichi, Yoichi starts to use his powers to attack Omuta but Mai gets him to stop. Meanwhile, Okazaki is trying to erase his interview of Kanae but it won’t erase and as he watches, the footage changes and Kanae’s spirit appears and stares accusingly at him. Mai and Yoichi travel to Oshima island while Takaishi, who is also heading back to the island with Sadako’s coffin, asks Sadako why he kept him alive when he is the one to turn her and her mother into freaks and proceeds to give her a burial at sea. On the island, Mai and Yoichi stay at the Yamamura Inn and after putting Yoichi in bed, Mai steps outside and sees Takaichi sitting at the nearby water’s edge. He tells her that he put Sadako back in the sea and takes her to a small family shrine in a nearby cove. Meanwhile, Kawajiri appears at the inn and asks for Mai but when he is told that she is not there, he asks for his own room when he notices the lights starting to flicker. Mai rushes in and heads upstairs and Kawajiri follows but they stop when they see the ghosts of a young Sadako and her mother, Shizuro, appear. Mai is able to ward off the ghosts, then goes to check on Yoichi, who had been having a nightmare, which summoned the ghosts. Kawajiri believes it that Yoichi somehow absorbed Sadako’s anger when he watched the tape and he is unable to control it, which coupled with his psychic abilities,is causing the ghosts to appear. He decides to do an experiment to exorcise Yoichi’s psychis powers and drain the energy into a pool, where the water will neutralize the energy. Kawajiri hooks Yoichi up to his equipment and has Mai act as a conduit to expel Sadako’s anger but as the experiment proceeds, Mai, Kawajiri, and Takaishi begin seeing into the spirit world. Takaishi sees Sakado’s coffin and, asking Sadako to take him, walks into the pool and drowns while Kawajiri jumps into the pool holding a bunch of electrical equipment, killing himself. Mai grabs Yoichi and they both fall into the water but when they come too, they find themselves inside the well. As they struggle to climb out, Yoichi falls into the water and Mai jumps in after him but can’t find him. Suddenly, the opening is uncovered and a rope drops down, then Ryuji appears holding Yoichi. Ryuji tells Yoichi to give him his fear, then tells Mai to take Yoichi and use the rope to escape the well and not look down. Mai begins climbing the rope but looks down and sees Sadako’s spirit appear and start climbing the side of the well after them. Mai screams for help just as Sadako grabs the rope next to her and asks “Why were you the only one saved”, then falls back down into the water. Mai continues climbing and as the reach the surface of the well, they find themselves emerging in the pool. Climbing out of the water, the asks each other if they are ok and they admit they are both not really afraid anymore. Meanwhile, Okazaki has been institutionalized and when the nurse takes his picture, she notices something in it that shocks her as it is shown that Kanae’s spirit is behind Okazaki, tormenting him for letting her die.

This was a pretty good movie. The acting was good, with Miki Nakatani (Mai) doing a great job as the lead. The story was good, picking up where the first movie ended, and doing a good job of continuing the story. I honestly liked how they took the pure supernatural nature of the story and added the psychic aspect to it, as it made for a nice twist to the story and mixed well with the supernatural story. The special effects and camera work were very well done, making for a very suspenseful viewing experience that did it’s job in sucking you in. I’m sure it is a worthy sequel but on it’s own merits, this is still a good movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

May 11th, 2017 Movie – The Return (2006)

the return 2006

Take note people. I am back to watching my regularly scheduled movies. This means that all of the movies that I bought over Christmas, plus the ones that I got from my friends, lasted 4 1/2 months. I have to admit, that is a little bit insane. And while I had a lot of fun watching all of these movies, I am glad to get back on track with getting through my DVD collection. So today’s movie is a horror/thriller that pretty much came and went in theaters back in the mid 2000’s. The only reason I have my copy is because it was a random purchase during the Blockbuster out of business sales. So let’s see what I am in for with today’s movie, The Return (2006).

The plot: 11 year old Joanna Mills is at the fair with her father Ed, though Joanna says she wants to go home. As Ed is getting them some hot dogs, Joanna wanders over to a nearby claw machine when she hears a voice whispering to her and sees a strange man staring at her. Joanna yells for her dad and then hides under a table as the stranger approaches her and continues whispering to her. Joanna breaks the soda bottle she had and uses it to slash at the man’s hands when her dad suddenly grabs her and asks her what happened, with no sign of the stranger anywhere. 15 years later, Joanna works as a travelling rep for a trucking company and has just finished her last assignment. Heading back to the office, she sees her boss talking with her coworker Kurt about Marlin, a possible client, and Joanna says she wants to take a shot at it. When her boss asks if she is sure, as Marlin is based in Texas and Joanna has avoided going there, Joanna says she is so her boss agrees to send her, which upsets Kurt. As Joanna drives to Texas, she calls her father and leaves a message saying she will be close by and wants to try and visit if they can manage it. As she continues driving, her radio suddenly starts playing Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams”, even though she switches the stations, puts in a CD, and mutes it. Freaked out, Joanna pulls over and gets out of her car, and stumbles upon the scene of a car wreck, though nobody is there. The next morning, Joanna finds herself waking up in a field on the side of the road, with no sign of a wreck ever being there. Joanna heads to her meeting, where she says hello to her friend and then makes her pitch to the Marlin’s owner. After her meeting, she is washing her hands in the restroom when she notices her eyes appearing to change colors and has a flashback to riding in the car with her dad. Later that night, Joanna is on the phone with her friend when she hears a whispered voice over their conversation, then notices a strange car in the rearview of her car. As she is out with her friend, Joanna has a strange vision of being in another bar and using a switchblade to cut her arm. Joanna’s friend finds her in the bathroom with a fresh cut on her arm and helps her out of there, thinking that Joanna was just burnt out. Feeling like she has seen the bar somewhere, Joanna goes through all of her files and finally sees it in the catalog for one of the possible clients. Noting that the bar is near the town she grew up in, Joanna heads to her father’s house and stays the night there. The next morning, she asks her father about what happened in La Salle and he tells her that after the accident, she was a different girl and that she started cutting herself. Joanna heads to La Salle and when she sees that the bar is real, gets a room at a nearby motel. That night, she heads to the bar and sees that the inside is exactly as she saw it in her vision. When she goes to sat the bar, she notices a man at the far end of the bar and when their eyes meet, Joanna accidentally knocks over a beer that was next to her. Kurt suddenly shows up and when Joanna tries to leave, he grabs her arm but some of the bar patrons force Kurt to let her go. Joanna quickly heads to her room but Kurt follows her and forces himself in and starts to force himself on her. Joanna is saved by the man from the bar, who follows Kurt outside and proceeds to beat him until some other men pull him off of Kurt but after Kurt runs for it, the other men say that Joanna’s rescuer should have been locked up years ago. The next day, Joanna asks the motel owner about her rescuer and learns that his name is Terry Stahl but she warns Joanna not to get involved with him. Joanna drives to Terry’s house but when she doesn’t get an answer, she heads inside, only to feel like she has been there before and when she hears “Sweet Dreams”, she quickly leaves, only to run into Terry. Terry asks what she is doing there and Joanna said she stopped by to thank him and Terry is harsh about her breaking into his house but tells her that if Kurt bothers her again, to let him know. As she is leaving, Joanna suddenly stares at Terry’s barn and when Terry asks her what is wrong, she says that she thought she heard wind chimes but then quickly leaves. That night, as Joanna is in her motel room, she sees the strange car outside the motel and someone enters the room but when she runs out of her room and alerts the owner, the owner doesn’t see anyone upstairs. The next day, Joanna goes to see Terry at the stockyards that he works at and the two talk for a while before Joanna says she should head back to St. Louis. As Joanna heads for her car, she hears the whispered voice again and the man from her visions suddenly jumps out in front of her. Joanna runs through the stock yards and tries to hide but the man finds her and tries to grab her. Joanna manages to push the man and he gets caught in some gears, allowing Joanna to escape. Quickly heading back to her motel, Joanna packs her bags but freaks when she sees another woman’s face staring at her in the mirror. Joanna heads over to Terry’s house to see him but as she looks around, she notices his bedroom has similar decorations to her own bedroom, including a glass seahorse. When she sees a figure head to the barn, Joanna heads there and looks around before rushing out to her car. Pulling out some pictures she drew as a child, which she grabbed while staying at her father’s house, Joanna takes them into the barn and lays them out, seeing that they match what is painted on the inside of the barn’s wall. Suddenly, Joanna is overcome by a vision of a man attacking a woman, inflicting the same wounds on herself, and sees the man running to his car, dropping a knife into his gas tank before she passes out. When Terry comes home that night and sees Joanna’s truck, he goes looking for her and finds her in the barn. Terry takes her inside and asks who did this to her and she says she did it herself. The next day, Joanna tells Terry that something has drawn her to this town but she had never been there before. She asks Terry about what happened to his wife Annie and he tells her that he found her lying in the barn, just as he found her, and that someone had left her to die. When Joanna tells him that she drew the same mural in the barn when she was a kid and some of the other things that are just like his house, Terry gets upset with her bringing up memories of the past and tells her to leave. Joanna heads out of town, stopping at a garage to get some snacks, when she notices a picture of the man she has been having visions of and the mechanic/owner says that picture was of him from a long time ago. Joanna starts to leave when she notices the car she saw in her vision, now an old rusted heap, and when she checks the gas tank, she sees a hole in it and reaches inside to find the knife from her vision. The mechanic asks what she is doing, calling her “Sunshine”, and Joanna quickly makes an excuse and leaves but as she is driving down the road, the mechanic pulls out in front of her, causing her to wreck. As Joanna lies unconscious in the wreck, she has a vision and sees how Annie was stalked by the mechanic and attacked in her house and barn. The mechanic goes to get the knife back from Joanna but notices that she has recovered and started running so he chases after her. Joanna heads for Terry’s house, only to see that he has boarded it up and with the mechanic following after her, she goes to hide in the barn. The mechanic enters the barn and locks the door to prevent her escape, then tells Joanna he will let her leave if she gives him back the knife. Meanwhile, Terry had been planning on leaving but as he gets outside his property, he heard Joanna yelling for him and heads back to find her. When he enters the barn, the mechanic starts attacking him but Joanna stabs the man in the side with the knife and as he stumbles in pain, he sees Annie instead of Joanna and falls on her, causing the knife Joanna is holding to plunge into his neck. As Terry and Joanna head to town for some medical attention, he stops at an intersection and it is shown that when Terry was driving Annie to the hospital, he crashed into Ed’s car, when he had pulled over to tend to a sleeping Joanna on their way back from the fair. After the cars settled, Ed cried out to Joanna, who was unconscious while Annie ended up dying and part of her spirit went into Joanna’s body, explaining all of the memories and personality change when she was a kid. As Terry and Joanna sit at the intersection, they both seem to come to some inner resolution and continue to head off together.

The Return (2006) met with poor reviews from the critics, holding a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Unoriginality may be an acceptable risk in the Horror genre, but boredom is never okay.” The movie was originally going to be called Revolver, but the title was changed when another movie with that title came out in 2005. The movie flopped at the box office, making between $11 and $14 million worldwide off of a $15 million budget, which was blamed on the lack of publicity for the movie.

This was an incredibly slow, and rather boring movie. The acting was ok, with Sarah Michelle Geller (Joanna) and Peter O’Brien (Terry) doing decent jobs in their roles. The story was interesting though not entirely original, as the idea of someone gaining memories in order to solve a past crime has been done before in one form or another. The pacing in this movie was pretty bad, with things moving too slow to really keep people invested in the movie. The editing was also pretty bad, with sometimes you are unable to hear what some of the people are saying, particularly Joanna. It had a lot of potential to be good but the end result was just disappointing.

Rating: 2 out of 5

drama, horror, movie, movie review, mystery

April 29th, 2017 Movie – Point Of Terror

point of terror

I am starting to get back into the habit of sleeping in on Saturday’s. For the most part, this isn’t really a bad thing, but I have been trying to get more things done over the weekend so sleeping in kind of takes away from that. Now today I get to watch another movie from the Pure Terror box set and I will be honest, this doesn’t bode well for me in terms of being able to stay awake. Considering the two box sets that I bought from Mill Creek after Christmas, I find it funny how for all the praise I heap upon the Legends OF Terror set, I find myself slamming this set just as often. Well, let’s see what I get with today’s movie, Point Of Terror.

The plot: A lounge singer named Tony Trelos wakes up from a nightmare while laying on the beach and is approached by a woman named Andrea Hilliard. Andrea mentions that this is a private beach and flirts with Tony some before he leaves to go to work and she comments about possibly coming to see him, unaware that Andrea’s husband Martin, who is confined to wheelchair, observes them from the cliffs above. That night, Tony is singing and notices Andrea sitting by the stage watching him so after the set, he goes to speak with her. When she said she liked his act and asked if he considered cutting an album, he said he did once but it cost him a small fortune to make it. Andrea asks to hear it so Tony invites her to his place and plays it for her where, after making a few comments about it, tells him that she runs a record label and offers to help him make a better album. The two start kissing before Tony gets a phone call and Andrea gets his number and says that she will have her secretary draw up the paperwork as she leaves. Tony’s girlfriend Sally shows up and he tells her the good news but Sally warns him about Andrea and after talking for a while, they decide to go out for a swim. The next day, Martin is upset about a shipment being delayed while Andrea is having drinks by the pool with her friend Fran and ignores Martin when he tries calling her on the phone. Andrea is talking about Tony and invites Fran to hear him sing but Fran warns her to be careful with the affair around Martin, knowing how jealous he gets. When Martin comes down to the pool and starts arguing with Andrea about her drinking and not wanting to run the business. When Andrea protests that she has her own life, Martin says it is her fault that he is in the wheelchair, as well as commenting about how they are in this together as she was the one to kill his first wife while they were having an affair. That night, Andrea goes to see Tony and ends up having a brief confrontation with Sally while Tony is in the shower. Sally leaves and Tony speaks with Andrea and still feels like she is simply stringing him along with the record deal but Andrea calls the studio and arranges to have Tony come down and do a recording. As Tony works on recording some tracks, the studio manager contacts Martin, who says if the manager likes it to go ahead and release it but afterwards, he plans on ensuring that Tony never records another record again. Later, after celebrating, Andrea invites Tony back to her place for a swim and though Tony is nervous about Martin catching them, he joins her and the two end up having sex in the pool. When Tony leaves, Martin comes down and confronts Andrea over the affair and at first she denies it but then starts taunting him about it. As the argument escalates, with Andrea throwing things at Martin while he chases after her in his wheelchair, he ends up accidentally falling into the pool and drowns. At the funeral, Tony goes to pay his respects and sees Martin’s daughter Helayne arrive. Afterwards, While Andrea and Helayne are talking outside, Fran tells Tony about their relationship and how she was attending school in Europe. Later, Andrea and Tony get in an argument and when Tony threatens to call the cops and say that Martin’s death wasn’t an accident, she dares him to, threatening to reveal the affair which could cause him to be implicated as well and as an image of Helayne flashes through his mind, Tony hangs up the phone. The next day, Tony goes by the Lobster House to check on Sally, who he had been ignoring while he was seeing Andrea, and learns that she went home sick. A drunken Fran calls out to him and realizing she is in no shape to drive, takes her home. After bringing her inside Andrea’s guest house and directing her towards the bed, Tony is about to leave when he runs into Helayne, who invites him to stay for coffee but he refuses and heads home. The next day, Tony calls Helayne to check on Fran and then invites her out to go horseback riding. Helayne accepts and the two end up beginning to date. After a week goes by, Fran comments to Helayne about her being so happy and when Helayne tells her she has been seeing Tony, Fran warns her and tells her about Tony and Andrea. That night, Helayne says she is considering going back to Europe and when Tony asks about them, she asks him about his relationship with Andrea. Tony tells her it was over and they have a strictly business relationship now and that he loves her and convinces her to go with him to get married that night after his show and Helayne agrees. As Tony is packing his bags, Sally comes to see him and informs him she is pregnant but Tony tells her he can’t help her and leaves. Tony and Helayne head to Tijuana to get married, then return to the house to celebrate as Andrea is out of town on business. Unknown to them, Andrea has returned early and decides to relax by having some drinks and taking some pills. Helayne sees Andrea walking around outside by the cliffs and tells Tony, who goes to talk to her. Tony informs her that he married Helayne and Andrea laughs as she thinks he did so for the money and informs Tony that a clause in Martin’s will stated that if Helayne got married before she turned 25, then she would get married. When Tony says he can support her on his record sells, Andrea says that she can keep the record delayed indefinitely but Tony says they will find a way to make it work. Andrea suggests that he have a relationship with both of them but Tony spurns her and Andrea grabs onto him, refusing to let him go and as Tony tries to shake her loose, she ends up falling off the cliff to her death on the rocks below. Helayne had witnessed what occurred and rushes to Tony and hugs him as they head inside to call the police. The detectives rule it as an accidental death, noting the alcohol and pills in her system and that nobody knew she had come back in town. Tony and Helayne are packing to go on a trip after the funeral while Fran wonders what to do with her friend dead. Tony gets a call from Sally and agrees to go talk to her, asking Fran to take Helayne to the airport and telling her he will meet her there. When Tony gets to Sally’s house, she ends up shooting him repeatedly and as he lies bleeding on the ground, he screams out. Suddenly, Tony finds himself on the beach just as Andrea is introducing herself, as it seems that everything that had happened was just a premonition of what could happen.

Ok, this is one of the rare good movies in this set. There were a lot of good things about this movie but they were almost ruined by a poorly explained plot. The acting was good, with Peter Carpenter (Tony), Dyanne Thorne (Andrea), and Lory Hansen (Helayne) Doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Joel Marsten (Martin) and thought the bartender duo (Al Dunlap (Charlie) and Dana Diamond (Waitress)) made for some funny little segues. The basic premise was pretty good but the dialogue made the plot overly confusing at times and you are left to guess as to some of what had occurred. The special effects weren’t exactly the greatest and there was definitely an overdose of the 70’s in the movie, especially during the opening credits. A lot of potential but a bit disappointing as a final product.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

crime, Hitchcock, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

April 22nd, 2017 Movie – Number Seventeen

number seventeen

Ahh, another movie from the Legends of Horror box set and wouldn’t you know it, it is a Hitchcock movie. Today’s movie is yet another movie that I have never seen before, making it one more win for this box set. So the question is, what kind of an early movie do I have; horror, mystery, or one of his rare romance movies. Which ever type I get, I hope I am entertained by today’s movie, Number Seventeen.

The plot: When a gust of wind blows a man’s hat into the front yard of a house for sale, the man retrieves it, then notices a light moving about inside the house. Opening the door, the man, Detective Barton, heads inside and begins looking around the ground floor before heading upstairs, where the light is coming from. Searching around, Barton comes face to face with a man holding a candle on the attic landing but when a sudden burst of lighting illuminates the landing, they see a body lying on the floor and the man holding the candle panics and ends up falling down the stairs. Barton goes down to check on the man and escorts him back upstairs to the body, asking if he had anything to do with the dead body. The man claims innocence of the murder and Barton asks him to empty his pockets. As Ben begins revealing the contents of his pockets, the shadow of a hand is seen reaching for a door knob and a sudden noise is heard. Barton hands the man the candle while he goes to investigate the sound and the man searches the body’s pockets and finds a pair of handcuffs and a gun. The man keeps the gun but leaves the handcuffs next to the body, which Barton notices as he comes back up the stairs. The men hear some noises above them and see the shadow of someone climbing along the roof, just before the person crashes through a weak portion of the roof into the building. The man manages the catch the person, who is revealed to be a woman, and Barton gives her some brandy to revive her. The woman starts screaming about her father and when she asks who they are, Barton introduces himself as Forsythe while the man says his name is Ben. The woman, Rose Ackroyd, tells them that she lives next door and when a telegram arrived for her father, she went to give it to him but found his door locked. She had attempted to climb up the roof and of the house to get into the skylight of her own house but had fallen through. “Forsythe” asks about the telegram, which informs Mr. Ackroyd that someone named Sheldrake has the necklace and is planning to make his getaway that night. Ackroyd is instructed to keep watch on #17, and the telegram is signed by Barton. “Forsythe” asks Rose if she knows Barton but she doesn’t. Realizing that something will be happening soon, “Forsythe” tries to get Rose to leave but she refuses. When the bell’s chime half past midnight, the door bell starts ringing and “Forsythe” goes to see who is there. While he is gone, Ben remembers the gun and decides to put it back in the corpse’s pocket but realizes that the corpse has disappeared. Downstairs, “Forsythe” opens the door to reveal a man and a woman, who claim they are there to look at the house. After they come in, “Forsythe” goes to shut the door when a second man appears, asking his “uncle” if he can come in as well. The men want to take a look upstairs but they refuse to look at any of the rooms, wanting to continue towards the attic but “Forsythe” tries to stall them. Ben calls down that it is ok and they head upstairs as Ben tries to head down. One of the men tells Ben to stop but Ben, fed up after being stuck in the house for over an hour, pulls out the gun. As “Forsythe” questions Ben about the gun, one of the men pulls out a gun of his own while the other one struggles with Ben over his gun. The gun goes off and “Forsythe” ends up being shot in the wrist as he tried to shield the woman. The men manage to get the gun away from Ben and have everyone enter one of the rooms. The woman helps “Forsythe” bandage his wound and one of the men tells him that she is unable to speak or hear. The men search “Forsythe”, Ben, and Rose’s pockets and find the telegram to Mr. Ackroyd. As the woman keeps watch on everyone, the two men step out of the room and begin to discuss what to do. Ben causes a commotion and tries to leave but the men grab him and lock him in a bathroom. As Ben stares at the door, a pair of hands reach out and strangle him but as the man, Sheldrake, goes to retrieve the necklace from the toilet where he hid it, Ben is revealed to have faked being unconscious and pickpockets the necklace while Sheldrake is staring out the keyhole. The two men and the woman have “Forsythe” and Rose out on the landing when the corpse starts walking up the stairs, revealed to be one of the gang of thieves. After confirming each other’s identities by the use of a card, the men proceed to tie up “Forsythe” and Rose, but Rose winks at the “corpse” as he ties her up. The corpse leads the two men and woman into a room to wait for Sheldrake, when he locks them in and frees “Forsythe” and Rose, revealing himself to be Rose’s father. As he works on freeing them, he asks about Ben and is told that he is locked in the bathroom. Mr. Ackroyd goes to free Ben to help him but ends up getting in a fight with Sheldrake. Ben tries to help but accidentally knocks out Mr. Ackroyd, then Sheldrake locks both Ben and Ackroyd in the bathroom. As Sheldrake frees the other thieves, they retie “Forsythe” and Rose, then Sheldrake leads them down to the cellar, but the woman drops her purse and whispers to “Forsythe” and Rose that she is coming back, revealing that she can talk. “Forsythe” and Rose struggle to free themselves but their efforts loosen the banister and the end up falling, and hanging from the stairs. The girl, Nora, returns and frees them but has to return to the crooks or they will start to suspect her. “Forsythe” and Rose go to free Ben, who accidentally strikes Rose, then Rose goes to tend to her father while “Forsythe” and Ben go after the crooks. In the cellar, Nora reveals she can speak by refusing to leave with the crooks but they take her with them, as she knows too much. Leaving through a secret staircase, they make their way to the nearby train tracks, where a train with an empty car is about to leave. “Forsythe” and Ben race after them and try to board the train but while Ben makes it on board, Sheldrake kicks “Forsythe” off of the car. Sheldrake and one of the crooks head towards the engine, where they knock out the engineer in order to take over the train. Meanwhile, “Forsythe” commandeers a bus in order to give chase to the train. Back on the train, the crooks want Sheldrake to show them the necklace and Sheldrake but he realizes that he no longer has it. Accusing one of the crooks of being a cop, Sheldrake and the other crook move to attack him but the man manages to avoid them, then heads to the car where Nora and Ben are being held. As the man starts to search Nora, Ben reveals that he has the necklace, just as Sheldrake and the other crook show up and they begin fighting over the necklace. The fake police officer pretends to grab the necklace and make a run for it but as Sheldrake and the other crook chase after him, the fake cop doubles back and returns to the car with Ben and Nora. Meanwhile, Sheldrake and the other crook continue searching for the fake cop and end up shooting the engineer, causing the train to speed out of control. The train ends up plowing through the docks and crashing into a ferry, causing the train and ferry to start sinking. “Forsythe” arrives and, noticing Nora is handcuffed, dives into the water and rescues her. As everyone is drying off, “Forsythe” is with Nora and the fake police officer says that he is Barton, but “Forsythe” reveals that he knows Barton is actually Henry Doyle and that he is actually Barton. Doyle is escorted outside to some waiting police officers Ben is shocked that Barton was a cop the entire time. Barton approaches Nora and asks her what she plans on doing and when Nora asks what he plans on doing, Barton suggests she come get breakfast with him, causing them both to laugh, while Ben reveals that he managed to swipe the necklace again.

Number Seventeen met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics were mixed on their feelings regarding the plot, but felt this was a good early work of Hitchcock’s. When Hitchcock returned from a vacation in the Caribbean, he wanted to do a movie based on John Van Druten’s play London Wall, but the studio wanted him to do a film version of Joseph Farjeon’s play Number Seventeen instead. In a twist of fate, the director who wound up working on London Wall had actually wanted to do Number Seventeen instead.

This was an interesting movie but it could have been a lot better. The acting was ok, with Leon M. Lion really stealing the show as Ben, making for some great comedic moments, while John Stuart (Barton), Anne Grey (Nora), and Ann Casson (Rose) doing good jobs in their roles as well. The story was pretty good, but it felt like they spent too long on the build up of the events, so that the conclusion felt rushed. I think if the movie was a little bit longer, they could have paced it out better and it would have been more effective. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects aside from the train crashing into the ferry, but that honestly looked a little weak. The bigger problem for me was that the didn’t really do a good job of explaining who everyone was, which lead to a lot of confusion as to who everyone was and who was a good guy or a bad guy. Not one of his better works but it was still an entertaining movie.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, mystery

April 17th, 2017 Movie – The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave

the night evelyn came out of the grave

Man, did I have a pretty relaxing weekend. The majority of it was spent watching the new episodes of MST3K on Netflix. So with all of the cheesy movies that I have watched over the weekend, what’s one more movie to start the day. Today’s movie comes from the Pure Terror box set so odds are, it will probably be just such a movie. So let’s see what kind of movie we have today as I watch, The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave.

The plot: A man climbs down a bed-sheet ladder and attempts to escape from a mental institution but the guards manage to quickly grab him before he scales the fence and carry him back to the main building. Some time later, the man, Alan, has picked up a prostitute and takes her back to his old family estate. The prostitute is a little nervous but attempts to seduce him but Alan begins whipping her and straps her to a chair. Alan is prepared to brand her but ends up breaking down when he hears the voice of his deceased wife Evelyn calling out to him. When the voice asks him to come to the garden, he refuses, saying that is where he saw her running naked to a strange man. The prostitute is frightened and asks who Evelyn is but Alan ignores her and picks up a knife. As he approaches the prostitute, she tells him her friends wrote down his license plate but he tells her he used a fake plate to pick her up, then kills her, unaware that he is being watched. The next morning, Alan is burning the prostitutes clothes and belongings but the smoke is seen by his friend and psychiatrist Richard, who is on his way to the hospital. Richard has his driver stop the car just as Alan is about to drive off and Richard and Alan head inside to talk. Richard warns Alan that if he is not careful, he could spend his days in a criminal asylum instead of a normal one. Alan tells Richard that he is planning on having a seance to contact Evelyn’s spirit in an attempt to put her memory behind it and invites him to come but Richard forbids him to do it. After Richard leaves, Evelyn’s brother Albert, who works as a groundskeeper for Alan, comments about hearing strange noises coming from the castle and Alan pays him off to be quiet. That night, the seance is held and Alan’s cousin, and only heir, George is in attendance as well as their friend Farley. As the seance commences, Albert demands to attend it but Alan ends up fainting before it can truly get underway. A short time later, Alan makes the decision to head back to London to live and tells Farley and George this. In London, Alan goes to a strip club and picks up a stripper named Susie, offering 1000 pounds to spend the weekend with him. Susie eagerly accepts but when Alan takes her back to his family’s estate, he proceeds to whip her and chokes her into unconsciousness. As Alan goes to prepare a syringe, Susie, who had faked being unconscious, sees this and quickly runs from the room with Alan giving chase. Susie manages to make it outside and Alan catches up to her but before he can kill her, Alan hears the voice of Evelyn again and passes out. When Alan comes too, Susie is gone and Alan gets rid of her things and pays off Albert when he gets suspicious. Richard goes to check on Alan and says that he shouldn’t be in London as he needs peace and relaxation. Richard also suggests getting married again and Alan says he will consider it. Later, Alan calls Farley and tells him he wants the family castle restored and tell Farley he has his full authority to spend as much as it takes. In London, Alan attends a party that George is hosting and sees a woman named Gladys, instantly falling in love with her. Alan manages to finally introduce himself to Gladys and after talking for a while, they end up having sex and Alan asks her to marry him and she accepts. They return to the family estate and Evelyn is amazed at how it looks before Alan introduces her to George. Later, Alan is walking the grounds and Albert confronts him, saying it was a mistake for him to remarry but Alan ignores him and walks away. That night, Gladys exits the shower and as Alan is kissing her neck, she asks if he can remove the portrait of Evelyn that is in the bedroom. When Alan notices his glass of milk isn’t on his night stand, Gladys goes to fetch him a new glass but when she returns, she tells him that there was a new maid with red hair in the kitchen, which freaks out Alan. The next day, Alan questions his Aunt Agatha, who is in charge of hiring the maids, about the incident but Agatha assures him none of the maids have red hair and that Gladys must have been mistaken. As Alan continues to think that Evelyn is calling out to him, Gladys is worried about him and speaks to Richard about it. Learning that Alan had planned to divorce Evelyn and Evelyn wanted the baby to try and save their marriage, Gladys wonders if Evelyn faked her death. Getting the necessary papers, Gladys heads to the cemetery and asks the grounds keeper to open her tomb but they discover that it is empty. Meanwhile, Albert, who is upset that Gladys is trying to replace his sister, is watching them when a mysterious stranger sneaks up on him and has a venomous snake bite him in the neck. As Albert succumbs to the venom, the stranger grabs him and drags him to an open grave and proceeds to bury him. The next day, Agatha is still trying to figure out how Gladys could have seen a red headed maid and George suggests it might have been a thief disguised in one of the maid’s outfits and Gladys had simply surprised her. When Agatha checks the china cabinet, she discovers all of the silver has been taken, giving credence to George’s theory. Agatha wants to call the police but Alan tells her he doesn’t want the cops involved. That night, Gladys sneaks out onto the grounds to look around and Agatha follows after her. When her wheelchair can go no further, Agatha stands up and peers out from behind a bush as Gladys heads towards the walled off chapel but someone strikes Agatha repeatedly with a rock, killing her and dragging her body to the fox cages. Gladys enters the chapel but Alan shows up and yells at her to leave, then starts to slap her until George shows up, telling him of Albert’s death and convincing Alan that Gladys couldn’t have opened the chapel. After Agatha’s body is discovered, Alan seems to be having slipping more into a psychotic state, and starts to strangle Gladys when he believes that she is Evelyn. Apologizing for what happened, Gladys begs Alan to get rid of the portrait of Evelyn and Alan allows her to destroy it. Later that night, as a storm rages, Gladys screams out and says she sees Evelyn outside and Alan heads out to see for himself. Heading towards the chapel, Alan sees a skeletal Evelyn heading out of the chapel beckoning to him and he passes out and Evelyn heads back into the chapel, where she takes off the mask and wig to reveal that it is Susie. Richard comes to take Alan back to the mental institution, saying he might never recover and, with him being incapacitated, his will is read, with George and Gladys getting the bulk of it while some money is also given to Richard and Farley. Gladys and George have sex and reveal that they had worked together to drive Alan insane so they can get the money and George takes Gladys to a cottage so they can celebrate without raising suspicions. George pours them some champagne but while Gladys drinks her glass, George doesn’t drink his. As Gladys starts to feel weird, Susie shows up, saying she impersonated Evelyn and reveals that she was working with George to get all of the money and that they poisoned the champagne. As the two mock her plight, Gladys manages to grab a knife and repeatedly stab Susie, killing her, then starts crawling towards George before the poison finally kills her. George quickly leaves the cottage but he is confronted by Richard and Alan, who reveal that they faked Alan’s last attack as they realized someone was trying to manipulate him. George strikes Richard and then struggles with Alan, before Alan ends up throwing George into the nearby pool, then Alan throws some bags of fertilizer into the pool, raising the acidity of the pool and causing it to horribly burn George before the police arrive to take him away.

This was an interesting little horror mystery but I feel like it could have been a little better. The acting was ok, though the dubbing was a little off at times. The story was a nice little mystery, and did have a twist or two that I honestly didn’t expect, but the pacing was thrown off by the sudden jumps from scene to scene, which left little explanation as to what was going on at times. If they did a better job transitioning between scenes, it would have kept the mood a lot more effective. Aside from the film’s pacing, the only thing that I didn’t care for was the actual film quality, as it looked seriously roughed up at times and there was one part where it looked poorly developed and out of sync, as in it looked like the first couple inches of the bottom of the frame was on the top and a noticeable line separating the top and bottom of the frame. It did get cleared up but it was seriously annoying. Still, it was a decent Italian horror movie, not enough to give you nightmares, but good for watching on a stormy night.

Rating: 3 out of 5

crime, Hitchcock, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

April 4th, 2017 Movie – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

the man who knew too much (1934)

Now this is a treat for me. See, I have seen this movie before..or rather, the remake of it. Granted, it has been several years since I watched it so I don’t remember all the minute details of what happened in it. However, both of them were directed by Hitchcock, so there shouldn’t be too much difference in the style of each movie. So let’s see if I like the original version as I watch today’s movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much.

The plot: In Switzerland, Bob and Betty Lawrence are watching a skiing competition when Betty notices a dog had run on the course and runs out to grab it, causing the skier making his run to crash. As the crowd checks to make sure everyone is ok, the skier, a Frenchman named Louis Bernard who has befriended the Lawrences, says that it is his last night in the country and invites them to dinner. Bob and Betty accept and then head out to watch the finals of a clay pigeon shooting contest, which Bob’s wife Jill is competing in. When they get there, Jill is about to shoot when Betty runs up to tell her about dinner. Jill tells Betty to be quiet and hands her a broach that she had been bought for her, then prepares for her shot. As Jill takes aim, she is distracted when a man watch starts chiming and misses her shot. Jokingly blaming Betty for the miss, Jill watches as her opponent makes his shot and wins the competition. When Louis shows up, Jill jokingly makes a show of leaving with him as Bob, going along with the joke, pretends to break down in tears and blame the winner for his wife leaving him. At dinner, Jill is dancing with Louis, while Bob plays a prank on them, when someone shoots through the window and hits Louis. As he starts to collapse, he hands Jill a key and tells her there is a note hidden in his brush that she must take to the British consul. Jill tells Bob, who has Betty go up to their room while he heads to Bob’s room, unaware that he is being followed. When Bob gets there he starts searching for the note and finds it just before the police and hotel manager enter the room. Bob sneaks out the back entrance and encounters a man, who asks for the note, but they are interrupted by the police and Bob demands they call the British consul. Bob is taken to the manager’s office, where he sees Jill being questioned by the police and he is unable to speak with her. When a porter brings him an urgent message, Bob reads it and then forces his way into the room with his wife, making up some excuse as to why he had to speak with her as he slips her the note. Jill reads the note, which tells them to say nothing or the will never see Betty again, and ends up fainting, and Bob grabs the note and throws it in the fire before anyone else can see it. The two return home, and end up being questioned by some officials but after the bulk of the officials leave, a man from the Foreign Office stays behind. He tells the Lawrences that Louis was one of his men and had uncovered a plot to assassinate a visiting head of state and the details were in the note that Louis had hidden. The Lawrences consider telling the man when the receive a phone call from the kidnappers, who know the man from the Foreign Office is there and warn them not to say anything. Betty is put on the line and Jill speaks with her and tries to get her to say where she is being held but the call is disconnected. Refusing to say anything to the Foreign Office, Bob goes with his brother in law Clive to follow up on their only lead, a dentist’s office. Inside, has Clive fake a toothache so that he can search the outer office while the dentist tends to him, then has the dentist check his teeth. While in the chair, Bob hears a man with a ticking watch enter and walk to a side room. The dentist attempts to put Bob to sleep but Bob turns the tables on him, then quickly dons the dentist’s coat and pretends to be working on his mouth as the winner if the shooting competition enters and speaks with the man with the watch. When they leave, Bob and Clive follow after them and come to a temple for sun worshipers, and Bob recognizes the logo from Louis’ note. Heading inside, Bob notices a woman staring at them and tries to warn Clive but it is too late. The woman calls Bob up to the stage and hypnotizes him, then has the congregation leave except for a select few. Bob is forced to lock the doors, then Abbott, the man with the watch, tells him of his plan. Bob recognizes the shooter from the competition and struggles with him, catching site of a ticket for a concert hall. Bob manages to rouse Clive and tells him to call Jill and have her stop the assassination, then holds off the kidnappers long enough for him to escape. Abbott takes Bob to a house that is connected to the temple, and Bob is reunited briefly with Betty before she is taken away. Clive manages to call Jill and tell her Bob’s message but when he tries to get the police for help, Abbott has gotten to them first and convinced them that Clive was insane and he ends up being taken away. At the concert hall, Jill shows up and looks around for the possible assassin and when she sees the rifle, she screams out, causing the shooter to only graze the target. As the shooter heads back to the hideout, Jill points him out to the police and the follow after him. When the police attempt to enter the hideout, the kidnappers begin firing at the police, killing some of them and forcing the others back. The police get some rifles and a shootout occurs between the police and the kidnappers. During the confusion, Bob manages to get out of his room and sneak into Jill’s room, then attempts to help her escape but they are spotted by the assassin, who was sent to get Jill to use as a shield. The assassin wounds Bob and chases Jill up to the roof of the building, where she is spotted by the police and the stop firing. When they see the assassin chasing her, a rifleman is order to shoot him but he can’t take the shot so Jill grabs his rifle and kills the Assassin herself. The police storm the building and find most of the kidnappers dead but there is no sign of Abbott. Suddenly, the hear an alarm going off and the police fire at a door, then pull it aside to reveal Abbott, who had been hiding behind it and is now dead. Bob’s wound is tended to and Jill and Bob are reunited with Betty, who is still frightened over what happened.

The Man Who Knew Too Much met with mostly praise from the critics, holding an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics had a lot of praise for the film in how it showed glimpses of the greatness Hitchcock would soon be known for. The shootout at the end of the movie was based on a real life event known as the Sidney Street Siege, which happened in the neighborhood that Hitchcock grew up in. Peter Lorre had just left Germany and had a limited grasp of the English language before he was cast by Hitchcock for this movie and wound up learning most of his parts phonetically.

Yes, there are some differences from the remake (obviously), but this is still a good movie. The acting was pretty good, with Leslie Banks (Bob) doing a great job of mixing some humor and seriousness into his role. Edna Best (Jill) and Peter Lorre (Abbott) were also good in their roles, and some of the minor characters did a good job with their parts. The story was pretty good, with a decent amount of suspense to keep you interested but the ending honestly felt a little rushed. I think if the movie was a little bit longer, then they could have fleshed out the ending and not condense it to the last 10 minutes or so. A good movie and definitely something that any Hitchcock should want to watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5

crime, drama, Hitchcock, movie, movie review, mystery, silent movie

April 2nd, 2017 Movie – The Lodger (1927)

the lodger 1926

When I first read the general plot outline for today’s movie, I had to stop and think for a minute because this honestly sounded like a movie I had already reviewed. However, After going through my list, I found that, while similar, this is a different movie than the one I had earlier reviewed, Man In The Attic. I shouldn’t be too surprised though as there have been countless movies and books that are inspired by or parody the Jack the Ripper murders. So lets see how Hitchcock does with his own version of a serial killer as I watch today’s movie, The Lodger (1927).

The plot: A young blonde woman screams and as a crowd gathers around to where the screams where heard, they find the woman’s body and a note, marking her as the latest victim of the serial killer known as The Avenger. A reporter at the scene calls in his report and the presses quickly rush to print the story. That night, a young woman named Daisy Bunting is working a fashion show when she and the other showgirls here the news. All of the blonde showgirls get nervous and hide their hair underneath wigs or hats while Daisy laughs at them. Daisy heads home, where she finds her parents and her boyfriend Joe, who is a police officer, reading about the story. Later that night, a well dressed young man knocks on the door and when Mrs. Bunting answers it, he asks about the room she has for rent. She leads him up to the attic, where the room is, and when he sees it is filled with pictures of young blonde women. The man seems a bit disturbed but sits down and, after hearing how much the rent is, pays a month in advance and asks for some bread and milk. Mrs. Bunting heads down to the kitchen and the man places his small satchel in a cabinet and locks it. When Mrs. Bunting returns with his food, she sees the man turning all the pictures so they are facing the wall and he asks if she can have them taken out. Daisy comes upstairs to help remove the paintings and is intrigued by the lodger and as she is putting the paintings away with her mom and Joe, they hear the lodger pacing upstairs. The next day, Daisy brings the lodger some breakfast and an attraction starts to form between the two. After a few days, the lodger starts to become more sociable and is playing chess with Daisy. Joe shows up at the house and tells Daisy’s parents that he has been put on the Avenger case and wants to tell Daisy so Mrs. Bunting goes to get her. When Daisy enters the room, Joe tells her father that after he puts handcuffs on the Avenger, he will put a ring on Daisy’s finger, though Daisy does not seem happy about it. When Daisy walks away from Joe and heads back upstairs, Joe starts to get jealous of the lodger but Mrs. Bunting says not to worry. Late Tuesday night, the lodger sneaks out of the house but Mrs. Bunting hears him leave and, getting suspicious, goes to search his room and finds the locked cabinet that she can’t get into. The next morning, when the news reports another killing had occurred just round the corner, Mrs. Bunting believes that their lodger might be the killer. Joe shows up at the house, depressed that they were not able to catch the Avenger when they hear Daisy scream. Joe races upstairs and finds Daisy in the lodger’s arms and when he confronts the lodger, Daisy explains that she was scared by a mouse. Joe gets angry and warns the lodger to stay away from Daisy but Daisy gets angry with him and storms off. As they leave, the lodger tells Mrs. Bunting that if he is disturbed like that again, he will leave. Mrs. Bunting shares her suspicions with her husband and they decide to not let Daisy be alone with him anymore. The next day, the lodger attends Daisy’s show and after seeing Daisy modeling her dress, speaks to the store manager. Meanwhile, at the police station, Joe realizes that the Avenger seems to be moving in a specific direction and figures out where they should try and catch the killer. When Daisy returns home, her parents show her a package that came for her and Daisy is surprised to find the dress she modeled inside. When she tells them that the lodger had seen her wearing it but she didn’t think he would have bought it for her, her father grabs the dress and takes it up to the lodger’s room and tells him that he can’t have his daughter receiving gifts from strangers. That night, Daisy is taking a bath and the lodger speaks with her through the door and asks if she is upset about the dress. She tells him she isn’t and the two end up going out that night, much to the worry of Mrs. Bunting. As Daisy and the lodger sit on a bench after enjoying their date, Joe finds and confronts them and Daisy breaks up with Joe and asks that the lodger take her back home. As a heart-broken Joe sits on the bench, he notices the lodgers footprints and realizes they are similar to those of the Avenger. Back at the Bunting’s house, Daisy and the lodger are sitting together and start to kiss but the lodger pushes Daisy away and stands up only for Daisy to keep talking with him and the two end up kissing. Meanwhile, Joe shows up at the house with a warrant and two police officers and after finding Daisy and the lodger together, tells him he is there to search his room. Searching the room, Joe unlocks the cabinet and starts searching the lodger’s satchel. Inside, they find a gun, newspaper clippings of the murders and a map plotting their locations, and a picture, which Joe recognizes as belonging to the first victim. Daisy protests his innocence but Joe has the officers handcuff him and lead him out of the room. As they make their way downstairs, Joe tells the Buntings what happened and Mrs. Bunting faints and as the officers’ attention is turned towards her, the lodger manages to run out of the house. Daisy goes looking for him and finds him shivering on bench. When she asks him about the picture, he tells her that the girl was his sister and they were dancing at a her debutante ball the night she was killed. He had promised their dying mother that he would find the killer and bring him to justice. In an attempt to warm him up, Daisy takes the lodger to a nearby pub and orders some brandy for him, helping him to drink it as they are trying to keep the handcuffs hidden. After arousing the suspicions of some of the patrons, they leave but soon after, Joe and another officer come in and ask to use the phone so they can call in. When the patrons hear Joe’s description, they end up assembling as a lynch mob to go after the lodger. Joe calls the station and finds out that the real Avenger was apprehended red-handed and, realizing the lodger was innocent, goes with his partner to try and save the lodger and Daisy from the mob. The mob catches up to the lodger and start to beat him while Daisy tries to defend him. Joe and his partner arrive and try to rescue him but they are shoved aside by the mob until the newspapers, showing the Avenger has been captured are handed out, and the mob stops their attack. The next day, the lodger is resting in a hospital bed and Daisy is sitting there next to him as the doctor says he should make a full recovery. Some time later, the lodger and Daisy are shown to be a couple and they greet Daisy’s parents as the come to visit them, but when the Buntings are looking at a painting over the fireplace, Daisy and the lodger sneak off to share a kiss.

The Lodger (1927) met with high praise from recent critics, holding a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to like this early showing of Hitchcock’s story telling ability and saw it as an indication of what he would become. This was Hitchcock’s third feature film and is significant for not only introducing several themes that would appear in most of his films down the road, such as an innocent man on the run and a fetishistic sexuality. Originally, the movie was supposed to have a more ambiguous ending, leaving you wondering whether or not the lodger was actually the killer, the studio demanded it be changed to a happier ending when Ivor Novello was cast, as they did not want him to be portray as the villain. Before the movie was released, Hitchcock married his assistant Alma Reville, who he had worked with before on other movies, and the two would stay married until the day he died.

This was a pretty good movie. The acting was good, with Ivor Novello (the lodger), June Tripp (Daisy), and Malcolm Keen (Joe) doing a great job with their roles. The story was really good and, knowing that this was one of Hitchcock’s earliest movies, I can see how this movie would be a basis for his later works. The movie didn’t have any special effects and there honestly wasn’t any real horror in it, as aside from the opening scene of the girl screaming, all of the murders happened off camera. Instead, Hitchcock focused on suspense and some misdirection to help set a great tone for this movie. Definitely a movie worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5