“I’ll be hanged if I’ll be dictated to by a woman who’s been dead for 40 years! “
Story: Downton Abbey meets Insidious. A young woman takes a position as a companion to an elderly woman who has just bought a long-vacant house with her husband. The young woman meets a dashing young man (is there any other kind?), but the evening of their engagement, the ghost of a young woman who died in that house 40 years ago makes herself known.
Scares: Extremely mild. But satisfying in that 40s horror-lite way.
Splat factor: This movie is from 1945. So that’s a negatory good buddy.
Closing scene “shocker”?: A small one. But kinda sweet.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original, though the typical old house/new owners tropes are here.
Trick or Treat?: Lookit – a 40s B-Movie! Superstitious servants, thunderstorms, along with the requisite dark and stormy night, “the man doesn’t believe but his smart wife does”, and an old couple played by younger actors who’ve been “aged up”. All the fun stuff.
Filmed in 1945, the ghostly goings-on are done with a very light touch. But the acting is gloriously heavy handed. It’s as if the cast are all stage actors who’ve never been in front of a camera before. Or they’ve time-traveled backwards from Hammer Films.
Annette – the young lady that gets ghosted – is a strange, vacant thing at the start, with her wide eyes and naiveté laid on thick enough for the cheap seats. It’s barely 10 minutes in, and she’s already clutching her temples and trying to figure out why she’s “utterly frightened”.
As per the usual ghostly possession story, Annette’s story mirrors that of the young girl who died exactly 40 years before. There’s also lots of deep pauses, overly meaningful looks, and tons of overwrought dialogue. But still, it’s a fun trip.
Best watched with the family, because while this film won’t be scary, it’s dedication to the story and amiable cast makes it a fun little film.
Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.