(Review originally written at 10 September 2008)

Going to a freak show with Bela Lugosi, this could be a suiting alternate title for this movie. It's a very short movie, that lasts just over 1 hour. It's obviously a small production with small production values. It's story is simplistic but also obviously effective for an early '30's genre movie. And hey, it has Bela Lugosi in it, which alone already makes this an interesting watch.

It's an early Edgar Allan Poe adaptation, though definitely not the earliest since that one dates way back to 1908. Coicindently this 1908 movie got also based on the novel 'Murders in the Rue Morgue'. It mixed in the famous Sherlock Holmes character in it, which makes it sound like a very interesting movie to watch, though that movie is simply not available now days and I wonder if the movie actually still exists.

It's a nice shot movie, that at times look like its down in the same style as movies from the silent era. The movie obviously has some stylish looking sequences. Especially the cinematography is sometimes something great and unique, for its time at least.

It has a slow moving story, that isn't always told well. In its potential it seems like a good enough story to make a chilling horror movie out of but I don't feel director Robert Florey used the story to its full potential. Instead now the story often feels more ridicules than anything else really.

All of the acting in this movie seems rather outdated now days and are also simply below par. Bela Lugosi plays a typical role for him and plays him in his trademark kind of style. It definitely makes this movie a good watch for the fans of him. They will surely appreciate and enjoy his performance in this movie.

A watchable movie but just not the greatest thing the Universal studios have to offer when it comes down to early 20th century horror.


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About Frank Veenstra

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