(Review originally written at 2 May 2007)

This movie isn't the greatest told movie but it features more than enough, also original, elements in it to make this a perfectly good enough movie to watch.

The way things unravel just isn't done in the best fashion. The movie is tense at times but considering the concept and story of the movie, the actual movie itself should- and definitely could had been more tense and better. The movie could had been more horror and that way the movie would had perhaps also been better known.

The movie also isn't the fastest going movie, which of course was consistent with '40's movie-making style but this movie just takes too long before things start off. It also remains too vague for too long in which direction the movie is heading. The movie begins as a typical drama, set inside a typical rich man's house but then horror elements start to appear in the movie, though the more dramatic approach and way of storytelling (also with its characters) keep playing the most important role in the movie. It's a combination that just doesn't always feel right and it also doesn't always work out.

The movie is still worth watching because of two simple reasons. 1; the atmosphere and 2; the acting. The atmosphere is totally fantastic in its more horror like aspects of the movie. It's the sort of both tense and mysterious atmosphere. The movie also definitely gets uplifted by its fine acting. Peter Lorre's role seems insignificant at first but he gets more important and is more prominently in the movie as the story heads toward its ending. His acting is superb as always and seems to be in a totally different kind of league in his style of acting as most of his colleague's working in the same time. A Peter Lorre performance is always unique and effective. It seemed like J. Carrol Naish had seen a bit too many detective movies before though, his performance was more comical than effective, though I have the feeling that this was done on purpose.

The movie also uses some good effects to bring the hand to life. I really have no idea how they brought that hand to life and it also looks better than Thing from "The Addams Family" actually. Quite amazing considering that this movie is over 50 years older.

The movie remains definitely best watchable for the fans of '40's horror, everybody else shall probably find too little to enjoy in this too slow moving and too weakly told movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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